As many of you know our youngest son Isaac who was born in March last year was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at a tiny four weeks old. This was a big shock to us as Isaac was the first deaf person we had properly met so we went through a lot of emotions wondering how we would communicate with him, and what his future would be like.
Isaac is ten months old now and from the day he was diagnosed we have had amazing support and met some amazing professionals and families along the way. It is testament to the NHS that he was wearing hearing aids by seven weeks old, signed off for cochlear implants at seven months old, and implanted at an incredible eight months old.
Isaac was turned on to sound when he was nine months old and in the last week or so he has started turning to his name! We didn't imagine this would be possible for quite some time so it is absolutely incredible that he is starting to hear now.
In addition to the amazing support provided to us at home, The Ear Foundation has played such an important role for us. Their regular Stay & Play session has enabled us to meet other families in the same position, get advice from speech and language therapists and learn songs and activities to develop Isaac's listening and speaking. Whilst Isaac will hear, cochlear implants aren't a restoration of normal hearing so there will still be challenges for him as he grows up and I know the Ear Foundation will help us along the way.
The Ear Foundation actually brought cochlear implants to the UK in 1989 and now provide services which bridge the gap between the clinics where hearing technologies are fitted and home, school and work where they are used (ear foundation.org.uk). They support deaf people throughout their life with a family programme, education programme, clinical services and research programme.
This is the Ear Foundation's 30th year so I thought it is a great time to raise awareness and give something back! When I think about what I have signed up to I feel like a totally crazy person - I have two children under 2.5 years, I have very little time to train, I haven't had a full nights sleep in 2.5 years and I am nowhere near as fit as I used to be. However, it didn't feel right to ask you to sponsor me for a 5km when I have run a fair bit in the past and you all know I 'like' a challenge!
I recently started volunteering some time to a parental advisory group at The Ear Foundation and it really opened my eyes to how important donations are (no matter how small) and what a difference they can make. Anything you can give would be absolutely amazing for them and certainly what I need mentally to get me round this event and the coming weeks as the mileage increases!
Lots of thanks from us all and especially Isaac xxx
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.