Second Annual National Microtia Awareness Day with the Ear Community Organization – November 9th, 2017

National Microtia Awareness ribbon for the Ear Community Organization – November 9th, 2017

On Thursday, November 9th, 2017, the Ear Community Organization celebrated it’s Second Annual National Microtia Awareness Day that took place throughout the United States.  Families from all over were excited to raise awareness and help educate about Microtia and Atresia at schools, parties, the work place, and more.  Many medical professionals from Microtia and Atresia repiar surgeons, to ENTs, to dentists, blogged about our special day on social media.  Some of the medical facilities who were a part of our awareness day were Johns Hopkins, ReconstratA, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Seattle, the NIH, the University of Michigan, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, AudiologyOnline, HealthyHearing, SuccessForKidsWithHearingLoss, and many more.  Many hearing device companies and medical device companies such as Cochlear Americas, Med-EL, Medtronic, Oticon Medical, and Stryker CMF (the maker of Medpor) socially blogged about National Microtia Awareness Day, celebrating in their offices and educating employees more about hearing loss and Microtia.  In fact, many amazing moments took place on this special day for families and individuals with Microtia and Atresia everywhere!  Hundreds of children and adults, with their families, submitted pictures online in their National Microtia Awareness Day t-shirts and/or wearing blue and black, celebrating and helping promote awareness.  Many changed their online profile pictures to our Ear Community awareness ribbon.  Many also changed their Facebook profile pictures to the beautiful official Microtia Awareness profile frame/boarder on Facebook that one of Ear Community’s families created (thank you to the Mitchell Family)!  Our Microtia Awareness FB frame was used over 1,300 times!  Excitement about celebrations everywhere were blogged on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.  Not only did families celebrate in the US, but from many countries all over….Canada, the Philippines, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, Malaysia, Denmark, the UK, Poland, Ireland, China, Israel, Indonesia, New Zealand, and many others.   Many from families from other countries are calling November 9th, International Microtia Awareness Day!  So many children shared a newfound confidence where they got up in front of their classrooms and talked about their ears and their hearing loss (while wearing their Microtia Awareness Day t-shirts) and explained why having an awareness day was so important to them.  Children and their parents educated about Microtia and Atresia and brought in treats to their children’s schools such as blue awareness cupcakes and frosted cookies.  Even families with newborns affected by Microtia and Atresia found hope and a sense of belongingness with everything being so new to them.  There were also a series of group gatherings that took place with Microtia and Atresia families coming together to celebrate on our special day.

Raising awareness on NMAD at an elementary school in Colorado.

In a press release by, Melissa Tumblin, Founder of the Ear Community Organization, she explains that “Approximately one child in every 9,000 (in the United States) is born with Microtia (when the ear(s) do not fully develop during the 1st trimester of pregnancy).  Often affecting one ear or both ears, Microtia is diagnosed at birth, but there is no understanding as to why Microtia occurs. Facial challenges, hearing loss and the longing for social acceptance are some of the daily concerns for those who are born with Microtia.  “Children are born into this world not knowing they are any different from anyone else. Many with Microtia share similar stories of curious stares, bullying, or awkwardness.  Individual personalities, social conditioning, available treatments and bullying all impact how every child develops and copes as an adult.  By removing unnecessary boundaries and replacing them with resources, tools, and support, we can eliminate bullying and clear the way for an even more successful future.”

November 9th is dedicated to spreading hope and knowledge concerning a congenital birth defect, which derives its name from the Latin terms for little ears.  Mark the calendar for Microtia Awareness Day for November 9th and think of the number 9 as the shape of an ear.  In an interview with AudiologyOnline, Tumblin was asked “Why was it so important to have a national awareness day created?  Tumblin stated, “It is the intention of Microtia Awareness Day to help promote public awareness.  As the mother of a child who has microtia, and the founder of Ear Community, my hope is that families who have new babies born with microtia will leave the hospital armed with more answers than questions, and their dreams for their children intact.  I think that if more people learn about microtia and atresia, that they will be kinder and more accepting.  It is also my intention for anyone who is born without an ear(s) to realize that they are not alone.  Through this national day, they can find out about organizations and resources for information and support.”  Since 2010, the Ear Community Organization has brought over 7,500 people together from around the world at the organization’s events making it possible to share experiences and resources. The community is made up of not only children and adults with Microtia and their families, but teachers, advocates, and medical professionals from around the world who foster awareness and assistance for this amazing group of people. Board members for Ear Community either have the condition themselves or a family member who does, so they have close personal experience with the obstacles from a myriad of perspectives.

Here are some amazing memories from our 2nd Annual National Microtia Awareness Day!
See everyone next year!
Ear Community
www.EarCommunity.org

About Melissa Tumblin

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