When I was 2 years old, my parents discovered that I had a profound hearing loss. Back then, supports and services were few and far between-parents didn't have the ability to connect through the internet or facebook. My parents worked hard to help me be successful. Now that I am a parent, I am even more grateful for what they helped me to accomplish through sheer love and determination. Back then, 2 was young. Now, most children are diagnosed through newborn hearing screening and can start wearing hearing aids as young as 2 months of age. It is hard for me to imagine learning how to be a parent and learning about my newborn's hearing loss. Programs like Clarke support families at this most vulnerable but important time in their children's lives- providing emotional support, information, hearing aids, and therapy.
I am running my first half marathon in support of Clarke Schools For Hearing and Speech/ New York Campus. Clarke works with children as young as a few days old, who are deaf and hard of hearing, to help them learn to listen and speak. As you know, the Bergers are very involved with Clarke. Meredith is the director of the NY campus and Noa attends the preschool. Knowing how my parents struggled when they first found out that I was deaf, I appreicate the work Clarke does in supporting families of deaf and hard of hearing children in learning about hearing loss, connecting with other families, receiving speech therapy, hearing aids and other services, and most of all, in having hope that their deaf or hard of hearing child can and will be whatever they dream.