Ear Community is thrilled to introduce you to Joan Yirenkyi. Joan is a beauty at 27 years old and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with her family. She was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome along with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear and other birth defects. Being born with craniofacial abnormalities such as Treacher Collins Syndrome can create an extremely difficult path through life. She has had to undergo several surgeries, including several on her teeth and face.
Joan did not give up; she is a fighter! She worked hard through school, despite massive obstacles both through her peers and not receiving equal access to all the information. She has met with countless specialists during her young life to gain better access to sound. In January of this year, Joan reached out to the Ear Community Organization to see if we could help.
With the help of Oticon Medical, the Ear Community Organization was given the opportunity to donate a new Ponto 3 sound processor to Joan so that she can have access to sound! On April 3, 2017, Joan was finally able to get her Ponto 3 and gain sound while wearing the soft band head band. When she tried on her new Ponto 3, Joan said, “I am so happy for this! Thank you SO much!” Someone with as much spirit and perseverance as Joan definitely needs to have hear voice heard and we know that by giving her the gift of hearing, she is going to do great things!
Ear Community wishes to thank Jared Schnackenberg, President of Oticon Medical US, and Alan Raffauf, Vice President of Marketing for Oticon Medical US, for giving our organization the opportunity to help Joan hear better. A very special thank you to Beverly Ostrowski of Oticon Medical for helping work with us to improve lives with better hearing. We also would like to extend a warm thank you to Joan’s audiologist, Dr. Shannon Frymark, AuD at Aim Hearing and Audiology in Greensboro for donating her time and services to fit and program Joan’s new hearing device! Thank you to Ear Community’s donors and to the friends and relatives to the late Curt Gorman (past President of Oticon Medical US) who have also helped make it possible for hearing device recipients, like Joan, receive the gift of hearing.
Sometimes it takes a village, and we are all happy to be a part of Joan’s incredible journey. We are so proud of the things Joan has accomplished and faced so far in her life, and we can’t wait to see how far she’ll go. You are an incredible woman Joan, and you now have the access to sound that you fought for. Good luck, Joan, show the world how bright you shine!
We’re so proud of you Joan!