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"...helping to end the silence "


...the latest from the Colorado Neurological Institute's Center for Hearing

Volume 8 Issue 1

After three flights, and after joining up with additional medical personnel in Mexico City, the team arrived in Tuxla Gutierrez, Mexico. We all climbed into the vehicles Com 7 tan, Mex ico provided by the host city and headed south to Comitan. % Now, when you tell people that you are going on a mission trip to Mexico, they may think you're talking about white W Kate Parsons sandy beaches and exotic local drinks, sunburns and wonderftal food. Food they have correct; but they're wrong Have you ever experienced something in your life that was about sandy beaches, bums and drinks. When we arrived so amazing and so wonderful that you now look back and it in Comitan, it was actually cool! This is because Comitan seems like a dream? is 1700 meters above sea level or around 5500 feet (almost I had an experience of that exact type recently when I was like Denver). invited to go with World Hearing Network to Comitan, The day after our arrival we all woke, met for breakfast and Mexico, as a Spanish-language interpreter. headed over to the hospital. Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was the gigantic banner that welcomed World Hearing Network and Amaoir, the two non-profit organizations that sent team members. That made me swell with pride knowing that the people there were welcoming us to their hospital and they knew that we could help their patients.






Patients welcome the World Hearing Network team. The planning for the trip began long before the team boarded the airplane and headed south. Several organizations and individuals donated the equipment and supplies necessary for the success of the mission. These included Stryker/Spine/ENT for surgical drills and foot pedals, Matrics Impressions for hearing aid supplies, Rayovac for batteries, Westone for hearing aids, AmeriCares for medications and Swedish Medical Center for surgical supplies. In addition, many clinics and private individuals donated hearing aids, and generous donors helped underwrite the actual costs of the mission.

We set up the operating rooms and the hearing aid room and all got to work seeing patients and performing operations starting that first day. I loved being able to see patients pre-op and post-op, and every time I saw them, they were smiling. Inside I knew that they were eternally grateftil that we could help them.

Many of the hearing aid patients would arrive at 5 am and wait all day to be seen and possibly helped. Their enduring hope made me realize that this trip was going to be life-changing. Among the patients, there was a pediatric cochlear implant candidate. It amazed me that getting this device When the team gathered at the airport, there was an excited meant this child could go from nothing but silence to being able buzz in the air. Many members were seasoned travelers to communicate as a member of while others had never gotten a single stamp in their the hearing world. passports!

The smile on this grateful patient's face, following surgery, says it all for Dr. Kelsall.


continued Having no formal medical training before the trip, I was full of questions and the doctors were happy to share their knowledge and teach me about the procedures. After several long days of surgeries, we packed our things and cleared out of the hospital. To me, it was a happy as well as a sad ending to an amazing trip and experience. Every person who went on the trip, as well as the local doctors and staff, were gracious and helpful. Our departure from Comitan was bittersweet for me. Within this short period of time, I felt like I had become part of a wonderful team and an even greater cause. I now look back on the experience and see that the dedication and open hearts of our team have made an impact on the world. There were many people who received surgical ·f'l;^ treatment and almost a hundred others who received hearing aids. The World Hearing That is an amazingly large number Network helps patients for a small group of people to touch. such as this infant I hope the patients know that they receive free hearing made a life-long impact on me in aids or no no-cost surgery to correct ear return.



Receiving a cochlear implant is only the beginning of the journey of living in a hearing world. The next step is learning to maximize the benefits of an implant through vital auditory verbal therapy. Unfortunately, many health insurance plans may not cover this or may allow only a handful of sessions.

^ f

The CNI Center for Hearing's Angel Network is a program that helps qualified applicants in the Colorado and Wyoming area receive auditory verbal therapy to achieve better outcomes with their implants. If you are interested in learning more about this program, please visit our website at assistance where you can read the eligibility criteria, print an application, or donate to this very worthwhile cause.


If you'd like to talk to others about hearing loss, consider attending one of the three Support Groups hosted by the Center for Hearing. We offer groups for adults with cochlear implants, parents of children with implants, and teens with hearing loss.

Each group meets several times throughout the year and all are focused on providing a fi-iendly, safe environment to explore issues related to hearing loss with peers who are facing similar challenges. If you are interested in attending deformities and restore When we were leaving Mexico, hearing. there was one word that stuck in my a group, please contact Judith Stucky at 303-806-7416 (voice) or [email protected] head. That word is "zocalo." It means the town square or plaza. I was told it also can CNI HOPE AWARDS mean the epicenter, where everything in centralized and is happening. For me the zocalo is Mexico, this life-changing Seven year old Matthew Bacher recently received the event that I had the Colorado Neurological Institute Hope Award for his privilege of motivation and commitment to meeting his medical experiencing. challenge of profound hearing loss while inspiring others My thanks to all of and offering hope. Nominated by Dr. David C. Kelsall, the team members Medical Director of the CNI who made this trip Center for Hearing, Matthew possible: the received his bilateral cochlear surgical team of implants which have allowed Dr. David Kelsall, him to hear the world around Dr. Robert Muckle, him so that he can now attend WHN team members pose with a Dr. Jeffrey Keyser, mainstreamed, public school. patient on a recent trip to Mexico. Dr. Gonzalo Corvera Read more of his story at Behar, Dr. Luis Martin and Dr. Rudolpho Meza; the www.TheCNLorg. surgical support team of Patricia, Betsy Perez, Sara Shelby David C. Kelsall, M.D., shares and Patti Parsons; and the audiology team of Theresa a smile with Matthew Bacher, Small, Katrisha Jensen, Steve Jensen, Caitlin Batch, cochlear implant patient and Melanie Muckle and Yudi Kravzov. What a wonderful recipient of the 2008 CNI group of people and what an amazing experience! Hope Award.


The sounds of summer are rich in memories... · the crack of a baseball bat hitting one out of the park · the notes of the ice cream truck's tune down the street · the swoosh of a jump rope cutting arcs in the air · the ring of a bicycle's bell on the way home But, the most cherished sound of all is the sound of a child's laughter...the best and most lasting memory of the recent CNI Cochlear Kids Camps. The Center for Hearing hosted ^ two family camps this year for a total of 444 attendees from 24 US states and the Canadian province of Alberta. Launched in 2001, the theme of these annual camps is "Sharing Success." While the focus is on the child with the cochlear implant, the camps are also designed to bring parents together as well as siblings to celebrate the hard work each family member undertakes on the way to success for their "CI Kid." The camps feature a wealth of Rocky Mountain experiences - from wall/ rockclimbing, fishing, horseback riding, archery and hikes to high ropes, ziplines, teen campouts and s'mores. And at each activity, campers are surrounded by peers who have "walked the same walk" in the cochlear implant world. In fact, parents often tell us that their children are meeting other "CI Kids" for the very first time and that's a powerful and positive moment for a child who too often feels isolated and different. In addition to the outdoor activities, parents also attend educational workshops while siblings have an opportunity to explore their feelings and talk to others with similar challenges. Donations to the camp help keep the costs to each family affordable, and the warmth and acceptance they experience make it unforgettable. In July of 2008, CNI launched its inaugural CI Teen Leadership Camp. Based loosely on the Outward Bound model, the CNI version focuses on developing leadership skills and self-confidence in teens with cochlear implants while providing physical challenges such as mountain biking, canoeing, backpacking and tent camping at 12,000 feet. Each teen had opportunities to lead activities as well as be a member of the various teams that coordinated meals, tent set-up, equipment and daily schedules. The camp was hosted as a partnership between the CNI Center for Hearing and the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Plans are underway to offer the event again in 2009 and funding sources are being explored to keep this wonderful opportunity for cochlear implant teens an ongoing reality.


Since its launch in 2003, the Cochlear Implant Assistance Program has been a national leader in helping qualified candidates receive the internal and external components of cochlear implant systems at no charge. In partnership with Cochlear Americas and Advanced A Cochlear Americas system Bionics, adults and children who either have no health insurance or whose insurance excludes implants can apply for a donated system. To date, recipients have ranged from children such as a 15 month old boy in Utah to a 58 year old retired woman in Georgia. An Advanced Bionics system A similar program, the Baha Assistance Program, was started in 2006 to help patients with single-sided deafriess to receive hearing via a bone-anchored device. Like the Cochlear Implant Assistance Program, patients are responsible for all out-ofpocket expenses other than the hardware itself For more information, visit our website at

CNI Center for Hearing 701 East Hampden Avenue, Suite 330 Englewood, CO 80113-2736

a not-for-profit organization

CNI Center for Hearing Staff Medical Director David C. Kelsall, MD Program Manager Judith Stucky, MA, LPC Development Director Melissa Francis Audiologists Allison Biever, AuD, CCC-A Katie Breithart, AuD, CCC-A Robin Humphrey, AuD Rehabilitation Specialists Nancy Schenck, MEd, CCC-A Cert AVT Nanette Thompson, MA, CCC-SLP Cert AVT Patient Care Coordinator Johnnie Herman

Advisory Board Kathy Allen, MA-CPC Margaret Ansted Julie Mooneyham, MS, CCC-A Chris Bertrand LaFawn Biddle Kathy Christie Barbara Farley Don Johnson Elaine Leander Barbara Luikart, MA, CCC-A Edward Robinson Lisa Ruiz, RN, BSN Mary Jane Scherr Donna Sorkin, MCP Ronald West, MBA Daniel Weyland Luanne Williams, CFRE In Memoriam James Bye, Esq.

Contact Us... CNI Center for Hearing 701 E. Hampden Ave., Suite 330 Englewood, CO 80113 303.806.7416 voice 303.788.4010 voice 303.788.5469 fax [email protected] (email) (website)

Have You Heard., is produced by the CNI Center for Hearing.

Our special thanks to Data Graphics for helping to reduce the cost of printing this newsletter.

SuildCvi^Cl/SOtiVld/ flAtliVe/.. .Now tnore than ever, the CNI Center for Hearing needs your help to keep our programs and services available to those in need. Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to our non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. While cash/check donations are the most common, other options include real estate, appreciated stocks, employer matching gifts, IRAs, or personal property such as cars or works of art. For more information, please contact John Stephenson at 720-974-4094 [email protected] Whatever the form, 100% of your gift goes directly to our programs and you will know that your gift can help end the silence!


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