Meet Sophia & Emma.
From all outward appearances these two are just typical sisters – opposite in every way. One is outgoing. The other shy. One is girly. The other not so much. One is tall. The other petite. One has long, curly hair. The other sports a pixie cut. One looks like dad. The other looks like mom. Need I go on?
Despite all this individuality, these two sisters do have one significant thing in common: They were both born with profound, bilateral hearing loss.
In laymen’s terms, they are deaf.
You’d never know this if you met them. In fact, they are just about as ‘typical’ as any two teens/tweens can be: they go to a mainstream school, play sports, read books, do art, hang out with friends, watch movies, eat pizza, ride bikes. Heck, these girls have even played instruments and participated as actors in theater productions.
Sound amazing? It is. But none of this has come easy. These girls and their family have worked incredibly hard to get to this point – countless doctors appointments, numerous surgeries to receive and perfect their cochlear implants, hours and hours of speech and language therapy, have all culminated in the incredible success they are experiencing today.
This month Sophia, Emma & their family are participating in a fundraiser to benefit the Listen Foundation. The Listen Foundation was incorporated in 1969 when a group of parents came together because they shared the common experience of raising a child with a hearing impairment. These parents recognized that many other parents and professionals were unaware of technological and therapeutic options that enable children with a hearing loss to listen, speak and become part of mainstream society and that many families that might want to pursue these options did not have the financial means to pay for these services.