Tag Archives: summer

2015 Ear Community Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnics

In the middle of winter, it’s always fun to look ahead to the summer. Summer time also means it’s time for Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnics. The picnics provide an incredible opportunity for Microtia and Atresia families to come together, share experiences and make new friends. Medical professionals also join in the fun and are available to answer questions and help to educate families on options for hearing loss. Families will even be able to test out the newest state-of-the-art hearing products.

We’re thrilled to once again be a sponsor and an active participant in the picnics. We’ve met so many of you through these amazing events. Here’s where you can learn about some Ear Community connections ahead of the events.

Here are some pictures from last year. 

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Finding Ear Community After Enter a World of Uncertainty

In honor of the amazing connections that happen at Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Summer Picnics, we’ve asked attendees to share their experiences with you here on our blog. This week, you’ll hear from Shannon Katuszonek, a mom who is forever grateful for finding her strength through Ear Community.

Here’s Shannon to tell her story.

We had no idea my daughter, Ava, had a condition. When she was born it was quite the shock. As if learning to understand what her little ear meant wasn’t enough, she was our first child, so we had little frame of reference for newborns in general.

So, we took in whatever information the doctors gave us. We knew she failed the newborn hearing screening test. Then, our Microtia Pediatrician started telling us about the other things that could be wrong with her.  “She could have Goldenhar Syndrome, a heart condition and more. But, we’ll just wait and see how she develops.”

There we were…

You’re looking at this beautiful little baby that you’ve been waiting for, and now you’re so overwhelmed. You can’t enjoy the moment, because you’re so worried about all of the things that might happen.

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Kristy Smith Meets Her Ear Community in California

In honor of the amazing connections that happen at Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Summer Picnics, we’ve asked attendees to share their experiences with you here on our blog. First up we have Kristy Smith.

Enter Kristy

Wristband

My 14 month old daughter Olivia was born with Microtia and Atresia of her left ear. I came across Ear Community shortly after she was born. The hospital knew absolutely nothing about her condition.  No references or literature. It was a very emotional and confusing time. 

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Ear Community Microtia and Atresia Summer Picnics Connect Families & Friends

As we’ve mentioned many times, one of our favorite things about summer is that it’s time for Ear Community’s Microtia and Atresia Summer Picnics. This year, in honor of the amazing connections that happen at these picnics, we’ll be sharing the experiences of attendees. We’ll start with an overview from the Founder of Ear Community, Melissa Tumblin.

“We had 220 people RSVP for our California picnic that took place in Pleasanton, California on June 21, 2014. We had Cochlear, Oticon Medical, and Stryker CMF as sponsors who attended to help families learn about their options. We had an anaplastologist there helping families not just learn about prosthetic ears, but to also physically see and touch them. Many people tune out the option for a prosthetic ear until they see how real they look and how well they can be matched to skin. Many times, in a line up, people can not pick out who is wearing a prosthetic ear because they look that real and blended,” Melissa explained. “We also had Dr. Joseph Roberson who joined us from the California Ear Institute as one of the world’s leading Otologists/Neurotologists for atresia repair and also Dr. Grant Fairbanks who helped families learn more about the rib graft option for external ear reconstruction.”

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2014 Ear Community Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnics

Each summer the Ear Community hosts picnics around the world that help bring Microtia and Atresia families together. The picnics offer a platform for the community to come together and share experiences. Medical professionals– Microtia and Atresia repair surgeons, ENTs, audiologists and therapists– also join to share information on the options for living with hearing loss. Families are even able to test the latest hearing products at the event.

As a sponsor and active participant in the picnics, we can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day.

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Here’s when and where this summer’s picnics will take place:

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Ear Community Hosts Microtia & Atresia Summer Family Picnics

Each summer the Ear Community hosts picnics around the world that help bring Microtia and Atresia families together. The picnics offer a platform for the community to come together and share experiences. Medical professionals– Microtia and Atresia repair surgeons, ENTs, audiologists and therapists– also join to share information on the options for living with hearing loss. Families are even able to test the latest hearing products at the event. 

As a sponsor and active participant in the picnics, we can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day. This summer, picnics took place in Florida, Illinois, Ohio, Barcelona and London. The next two picnics will take place in Denver, Colorado on July 27 and in Los Angeles, California on August 10.

Many of the picnics host almost 200 people. This year, our friend Justin Bays hosted the Ohio picnic.

“The picnics are a great way for all Microtia/Atresia families to come together locally and share experiences and learn from one another,” Justin shared. “It was a pleasure hosting and I am looking forward to keeping touch with all who attended.”

Justin Bays

“Our 1st annual Ohio Picnic was held near Columbus, Ohio (Central Ohio) and we had many surrounding states represented at our picnic. It was wonderful that so many came from all around to share in the fun and meet someone else just like them. I felt the picnic was a huge success.”

“Ear Community and myself strive to help promote awareness and education and help make a difference in the world each and every day,” said Melissa Tumblin, Founder of Ear Community. “We work to help many learn more about Microtia and Atresia and to also help people realize that they are not alone through our support and our picnics.”

Have you been to an Ear Community picnic? We would love to hear about it! Tell us about your experience in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Introducing Oticon Medical’s First Annual Essay & Photo Contest: Sounds of Summer

Summe Fun

Take one look at the thermometer or your neighbors dusting off their grills, and it’s pretty clear that summer is right around the corner. And, while it’s easy to recognize the sights, how often do we stop to appreciate the sounds of summer?

So, this summer we’re excited to announce our first annual essay contest—Sounds of Summer! Between the weekends of Memorial Dan and Labor Day, we’re giving you the opportunity to share your story with the Oticon Medical community, and win $500!

We get to hear a lot from you about how the Ponto has helped rebuild the soundtrack of your life through the stories you’ve shared with us on Facebook and Twitter. And, we have to admit, we just can’t get enough of them—we want to hear more from all of you!

So, start thinking! What’s your favorite sound of summer? Do the sounds of crickets on a warm summer night bring back fond memories? Or maybe the sound of a burger grilling in the back yard? How do you experience summer differently now that you have a Ponto?

Here’s everything you need to know about entering the contest:

How do I enter?
We’re going to try and make this as simple as possible – we’ve even got your writer’s block covered. The topic for the essay contest is: “What’s your favorite sound of summer? How do you experience summer differently now that you have a Ponto?”

Answer that question in any form you would like– with a photo, an essay or a video– and send it in to OticonMed@gmail.com.

That’s it. You’re entered! All entries should address that question in some way, shape or form. 

If I wrote an essay there a word limit?
Try and keep your entry at 1,000 words or less.

How do I know if you received my entry?
We will send you a quick response letting you know we got your entry.

I’m not a current Ponto wearer.  Am I eligible to enter the essay contest?
Yes, anyone can participate.

What type of format should I send my entry in?
Please send your essay contest entry in a Word Document. Please don’t send a PDF or any other non-editable format. We want to be sure we can copy and paste your text. Also, please use a readable font (for example: Times New Roman, Arial, etc.).

Can I include pictures, links, and videos?
Yes! Feel free to get as creative as you’d like.

Can I submit something that has been published somewhere else?
We are looking for original essays, created specifically for this contest.  Of course, afterward, you’re welcome to publish your entry anywhere you like. If you are a finalist, we ask that you allow the contest to reach its conclusion (when we announce the winner and hand over the cash) before you publish your essay on your own site or blog.

When is the deadline for entry?
All eligible entries must be received by Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:30 PM EST. Any entries received after that will not be considered. 

How will the finalists/winner be chosen?
After all of the entries are submitted, finalists will be chosen by the Oticon Medical Team based on a number of criteria — amazing story, clear writing, and adherence to all rules of submission.

Each of those finalists’ essays will be featured here, and we’ll be spreading the word far and wide. After all finalists’ pieces have been shared, we’ll open the public voting for one week. The grand-prize winner will be chosen by the highest number of votes.

How will the voting happen?
Once each finalist story has been featured, we’ll post the link to a voting ballot for all of the essays. Then, you can have your friends, family, coworkers and everyone head on over and vote for you! Each person can only vote once! So spread the word!

If I’m a finalist, how do I get people to vote for my essay?
Share a Facebook post, tweet about it, pin your entry.  We’ll give the specific details on how to vote once all of the finalists’ posts have been featured.

When will the winner be announced and what will they win?
The winner of the Essay Contest will be announced on or around July 1, 2013. He or she will win a $500 visa gift card.

Do you have any additional questions?
Please send us an email. And, remember, the deadline for entry is May 29, 2013.

Help us spread the word! If you’d like to share the contest on Twitter, please use the hashtag #summersounds and mention @OticonMedical.