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September 2012: A Friend of the GOHF launches bike-a-thon team in Lowell, Massachusetts

In 2005, shortly after the Gift of Hearing Foundation was formed, we were contacted by Dorothy Eisenhaure, a speech therapist who was working with a sweet 5-year old boy named Troy from Lowell, MA. Troy was born deaf but received a cochlear implant at the age of 4.

Troy was now school-age and trying to fit into the social scene at his new grammar school in Lowell, after relocation from Kansas, but it was hard for him. His surgery was performed under Medicaid guidelines which meant he only received one external processor; which at the time was a cumbersome and outdated body pack with a wire that ran from his belt up to his head. Not only was he embarrassed by this device; it also hampered his ability to play sports and be as active as his contemporaries. This device also made him feel “different” even from other kids who had hearing aids, so he suffered socially and academically.

Ms. Eisenhaure felt that if Troy were able to receive the new and updated Behind-the-Ear (BTE) processor, it would not only increase his hearing/speech abilities; but improve his social and academic situations as well. The Gift of Hearing Foundation (the GOHF) stepped in and made this device transition possible for Troy, who was at that point 6 years old. Upon a follow-up visit 6 months after he received his new device, Troy was like a new child. He had excelled in both his social and his academic skills and was viewed as a child with very high potential. Troy said the new CI made a huge difference in his life.

Troy is now 13 years old. The processor he received back in 2005 is still helping him, but he does not have a back-up unit for when this device breaks down or needs repair. Most patients receive two BTE’s for this purpose, but Troy’s Medicaid coverage will not provide this for him. The $8,000 price tag for the device is far beyond his family’s means. So now he must “go deaf” during periods when his BTE isn’t working. This is a devastating occurrence to Troy, causing setbacks at school and in anything he needs to do, because he has no “deaf” acclimation. He cannot read lips, nor is he used to being without hearing. "Going deaf" is dangerous for him as well, as he cannot hear approaching traffic or auditory warning signals.

Sadly, the GOHF was not able to help with this second device as per guidelines and a limited set or resources. However, Rosanne Riddick, a longtime supporter and friend of the GOHF, stepped up to the plate and volunteered to form a team to enter the upcoming Bike-a-thon sponsored by the Greater Lowell Community Foundation as part of the Lowell River Fest on September 22, 2012. Through this event, she sought to raise the $8000 needed for Troy's new BTE device.


UPDATE - October 29, 2012: Thanks to Rosanne's efforts and an outpouring of support for the community, Troy is now on his way to receiving his BTE equipment! Congratulations!


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