On Tuesday, January 28th, Aaron Simko was fitted with a Cochlear Baha 4 bone conduction hearing device. Aaron is 29 years old and was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome and bilateral Microtia and Atresia. Aaron lives in Littleton, Colorado and works for Kingsoopers grocer as a lead cheese fromagier. Aaron noticed he was struggling with hearing customers as soon as he’d turn away from them when he was behind the counter. He realized he wasn’t able to localize where the sound of customer’s voices were coming from and was experiencing confusion. Aaron’s insurance coverage plan denied him the opportunity to apply for a new hearing device so he could hear better. His income was also not enough for him to purchase a new hearing device out of pocket.
Aaron’s employer would like to offer some options to him that could help Aaron attend college so he could further his career, but Aaron was worried about not being able to complete college if he couldn’t hear well enough. “I recently had the pleasure of meeting Aaron and his father this past December at another Ear Community event,” said Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community. “It is always sad to hear about children struggling with hearing loss in the classroom, preventing them from learning and excelling. However, it is just as equally as sad to hear about the adults who also struggle with hearing loss, preventing them from working their job or worrying about hearing in large classroom settings when trying to further their education.” “By helping Aaron receive a donated hearing device through Ear Community, our organization hopes that he will be able to pursue going to college now so he can achieve his goal in furthering his career.
In Aaron’s spare time, he enjoys singing and playing his guitar as a musician. As a thank you to the Ear Community foundation, Aaron is planning on entertaining everyone at Ear Community’s 4th Annual Colorado Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnic this July. “The organization is very excited about this for many reasons,” says Melissa Tumblin. “Not only are we proud to have Aaron at our picnic as a creative musician, but many of the children who attend our headquarter picnic will view Aaron as a role model.” “Together this will give Aaron the opportunity to help other children and adults who have Treacher Collins Syndrome and Microtia and Atresia realize that they can be anything they would like to be in life and also to share his passion and his love for music with everyone despite his bilateral hearing loss.”
A special thank you to Aaron’s aunt who originally reached out to Ear Community for a hearing device for him and helped him learn how the Ear Community foundation could potentially help him. Also, a very special thank you to Jennifer Wright, M.A., CCC-A, who is Aaron’s clinical audiologist at Denver Ear Associates for volunteering her time and services to program Aaron’s hearing device and fit him with his new Cochlear Baha 4 processor.
Ear Community would especially like to thank Bobbi Scheinin of Cochlear Americas for donating a new Baha 4 to our foundation (which is a newer model processor that just recently launched a couple of months ago) so our foundation was able to help an adult with hearing loss like Aaron. “Cochlear is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. It has a dedicated global team of more than 2,500 people who deliver the gift of sound to those with hearing loss in over 100 countries. Its vision is to connect people, young and old, to a world of sound by offering life enhancing hearing solutions. In 2013, Cochlear celebrates 100,000 Baha System users – all with unique stories of how being able to hear again has impacted their lives. The Cochlear promise of “Hear Now. And Always” embodies the company’s commitment to providing its recipients with the best possible hearing performance today and for the rest of their lives.”