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Ear Community

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Promote educational and public awareness about Microtia and Atresia and hearing loss, in an unbiased manner, while promoting advocacy and connecting individuals in the same situation.

Results: The Ear Community Organization has donated nearly 70 hearing devices to the needy who have Microtia and Atresia, has awarded nearly 10 college scholarships and has hosted dozens of picnics bringing families together all over the world helping educate them about all of their options for Microtia and Atresia where medical professionals and hearing device companies join together to help educate everyone about hearing loss and so families realize they are not alone with Microtia and Atresia.

Target demographics: provide support and information for families and individuals affected by Microtia and Atresia all over the world. We are a global organization.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1500 people personally at the family events we hosted during the summer of 2013. Our foundation has helped thousands of people all over the world, including updating medical professionals with current information about all options for individuals affected by Microtia and Atresia.

Geographic areas served: Broomfield, Colorado

Programs: Educational events that help families learn about their options and about Microtia and Atriesia and hearing loss. Educational webinars and presentations that help educate and promote awareness to medical professionals, medical facilities, and families across the world so they will know how to help someone who has Microtia and Atresia. The Ear Community Foundation grants college scholarships, donates hearing devices to needy individuals born with Microtia and Atresia, and may be able to help with financial assistance toward travel costs when planning for surgery. We also provide an entire website that contains anything and everything anyone would ever need to know about Microtia and Atresia. Our website has videos, testimonials, life stories, pictures of individuals from all over the world who have Microtia and Atresia, information about surgical procedures, books, hearing devices, helpful accessories, school and financial information and more.

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Melissa,

Congratulations on everything you have accomplished to provide invaluable high quality information to families and to advocate for and support individuals born with microtia. Ear Community is a game changer. When families come to us to learn about prosthetic restoration they have often already connected with Ear Community and are armed with information and questions. If families have not heard about Ear Community we immediately provide contact information. I observe a profound sense of relief that they are not alone. I have also noticed young adults born with microtia feeling especially empowered by Ear Community, even though you may not see them at picnics.

Because I have been working with families of children with microtia for over 3 decades I see the profound difference you have made. Before Ear Community, families would come to our office to learn about prosthetic restoration and would often not know the term microtia. Parents would express feeling very alone–that their child was the only person born with this difference. Families were very grateful for supportive information, which came in the form of a printed booklet from a Canadian organization called About Face.

I am a firm believer that people make better decisions when they have good information and understand their options. I am grateful for Ear Community and think you and Ally are amazing!

Regards,
Julie

Julie Jordan Brown, MAMS, CCA
Clinical Director
Medical Art Resources, Inc.
3400 S. 103rd St. Suite 200
Milwaukee, WI 53227
www.medicalartresources.com
414-543-1002
fax 414-543-0137

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born with Microtia, and I had no idea the condition even existed, much less had all these resources available to me. I love having this organization to help me network with fellow moms of this condition to help support and ask questions of one another. It has been a tremendous source of knowledge on the condition, and we LOVE going to the picnics every year and meeting all the representatives of hearing devices and the new medical advances.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Ear Community is a very unique and special nonprofit that provides support for families of children with Microtia/Atresia. This rare and unusual condition is evident at birth and leaves many new parents confused, scared and looking for answers. Ear Community provides many answers to parents' questions as well as hope for their child. Atresia causes hearing loss in either one or both ears. As a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing I work with many children with Microtia/Atresia. I have worked in early intervention and often referred families to Ear Community for the hope and support this nonprofit provides. I have seen families come together, meet and share their journey of raising a child with hearing loss. Summer picnics bring children and families together in an inclusive setting where differences are celebrated and strength is found for each child in knowing they are not alone in their journey with Microtia/Atresia. I am proud to be a board member of Ear Community!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ear Community has been beyond special to our family. When I thought we were the only one, when I had questions and when my son or I needed support, Ear Community has been there. Melissa is a God send who I am SO lucky to have met. There is a place for Microtia kids and families with EC.

1

Donor

Rating: 4

I was born in 1960 microtia atresia of the left ear. The only person I have met with atresia is a small child. I was so excited to find this fb page and group. They provide, information, validation, options, scientific data, support and love for people living with "little ears" and their parents. I am so grateful for this page and appreciate the wonderful jobs do.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born with bilateral microtia and Atresia. My husband and I spent almost every night for he first year of his life online trying to find information. We had seen ENTs, audiologist and other specialist in our area but they didn't give us all the information we wanted.
Then we found Ear Community. We went to the conference at Vanderbilt University. It was life changing. We meet a team of specialists, other children, other families, hearing device company's and audiologist.
It is hard for me to explain how much of an impact this had on us. It gave us peace of mind, helped us come up with a plan to care for our son and the late research stopped.
I cannot recommend Ear Community enough. They changed our life and our sons for the better and I am forever grateful.

1 ec.rachel9

Board Member

Rating: 5

I found Ear Community online while preparing for an upcoming cholesteatoma surgery. I emailed with Melissa Tumblin, founder and executive director for months before becoming a board member and active advocate for EC. EC has touched my heart and helped me in more ways than I can explain. Meeting an entire group of amazing and strong individuals who have Microtia and Atresia was both inspiring and heart-warming for me. Because of EC I was able to try on multiple bone anchored hearing devices and realizing how much I was missing out on in my life, I am in the process of applying for one! Attending the picnic in Nashville this summer was a priceless experience, and I cannot wait until then next summer to attend another. Melissa has given me the opportunity to vote on who is given hearing aids, who obtains college scholarships, responding and helping people within the support group, assisting in running and growing the EC Instagram page, and meeting with members of Congress to advocate for bone anchored hearing device insurance coverage. I love being involved and look forward to always being updated on Ear Community’s happenings. I absolutely love what Ear Community gives to everyone Involved, and I especially hope that EC can continue to grow so that we can do even MORE for all who have Microtia and Atresia. Ear Community is a big part of my life and makes a difference in the world. Thank you, Ear Community.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In 2018 I was able to obtain devices for a child with bilateral microtia atresia through Ear Community who otherwise may have never been fortunate enough to receive this gift of hearing. The staff at Ear Community were extremely helpful and maintained frequent contact throughout the entire process from beginning of the application to fitting of the devices. I am so thankful for Ear Community and especially for Melissa Tumblin for having the vision to establish such a needed nonprofit organization whose outreach has helped so many individuals with microtia atresia.

1 Ashton M.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I only recently connected with the Ear Community in Spring and wish I had known about them years ago. I have learned so much about my daughter's microtia and about my options through the Ear Community support page on Facebook and through conversations over the phone with Melissa. I have received a tremendous amount of encouragement and emotional support from the organization.

Additionally, the Ear Community picnics have changed my daughter's life! Through our first picnic in Tennessee this past summer, my 8 year old daughter was able to meet others with microtia for the very first time and it helped her to not feel alone. My family and I are so blessed by the Ear Community!

1 Shelley C.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had never heard of microtia or atresia until my daughter was born. The Ear Community team gathered information to help me understand what these terms would mean for my daughter. They created a community where we help and encourage each other. There would be no other place for me to go without them. I am forever grateful for everything Ear Community has done for me and my family.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ear Community is the best place to get factual, non-biased information on all things microtia and atresia related. Along with our doctor, this organization is our sounding board for making decisions as they relate to my son's bi-lateral microtia/ atresia. I'm very thankful for Melissa and her tireless efforts to build this community.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Due to the support of Ear Community, I was able to fit a kiddo with bone conduction devices who would have had no other way to obtain them. He did not have insurance and had limited financial resources. We found out very quickly that he had been approved for two Ponto 3SP on a softband. The organization was quick, responsive and very helpful. Everyone on his team, especially Melissa and Heidi at Ear Community were committed to making sure that everything was very clear to me, who had never worked with them before. I had never been through the process before, but they explained exactly the sequence of events and what needed to happen.

Additionally, I've had the privilege to work with one of their board members. She is motivated and enthusiastic about the cause! She is in DC for gradschool, but using the opportunity to work with her congressional representatives to improve insurance access and coverage for bone conduction devices. What a truly inspiring advocate for her community!

Ear community is full of passionate and persistent people who really care about the work that they are doing. I would recommend this to any patient who is in great need and can say from a professional standpoint, they are very easy to work with.

-Mary Finkbone, Au.D., CCC-A
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
Washington, DC

1 Lexie Rueckle R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born this past March with a condition which caused him to have hearing loss in one of his ears and meant we would need to get him hearing aids as an infant. I had no experience with this and felt so lucky to learn about the Ear Community organization. It was amazing finding a resource focused on his condition and to find a community of other families who have gone through similar experiences.

I'm able to get advice and tips from the group's facebook page from families who have older children with the condition. But I felt especially lucky to learn about the Ear Community's summer picnic in Boston. Just a few months before I would be getting my son his first hearing aids, I was able to talk to hearing aid vendors at the picnic and meet and talk to families whose older children were thriving with the condition with and without aids. I am so grateful to all the work the Ear Community does to create community and advocacy for these amazing kids.

1 Cynthia S.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The EC showed me I wasn’t alone when my son was born with microtia and Atresia. It has educated me supported me through the years where I can now support and help others that they are not alone. My City, my school, my province, my country has benefited from the kindness of this amazing organization.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Through this wonderful organization, my son and I attended the microtia/atresia conference and picnic hosted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville Tennessee on July 20, 2019. This experience was life-changing for myself and my son! My son was born with microtia/atresia in 1996 and we felt very isolated. Ear Community has reached out and united families with this same condition to share their stories as well as provide an outlet for friendships and learning about care, treatment plans and new products to help these children and adults navigate our world better. My son was introduced to his first BAHA hearing device and it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for him. He is a music major and hearing in stereo will be a game changer. I cannot thank Melissa Tumblin and her group enough for what they have done through Ear Community. They are fantastic and I pray they continue their wonderful work as they reach out to more and more families. The pictures I have included are from the conference/picnic. My son was asked to play guitar as part of the picnic entertainment. He also got to meet other families, doctors and try out his first ever BAHA hearing device! Wonderful experience!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The ear community organization has opened up so many doors for parents and children to get the help they need for hearing aids and additional tools to help them function at a higher level In life!! Meeting all the amazing people that run this organization and all the people that are involved has been a highlight for me! I am a 66 year old woman that has Microtia and never knew what the condition was until my grandson was born 3 years ago with Microtia.I have learned so much from this organization.
It has been amazing to see all the advances and technology that is offered to children now.
I am so grateful to be involved with this organization. Melissa Tumblin does an amazing job helping families!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has unilateral Microtia & has been told by dr’s that he’s fine for years. After realizing he was delayed in Speech & could not localize sound we reached out to the Ear Comminuty for assistance with a device after being told insurance wouldn’t cover it. The Ear Community is filled with loving kind hearted individuals that selflessly helped my son in our family’s time of need. They provided him with a Ponto Plus at no cost. He is 4yrs old & needed the device years ago. We are so incredibly grateful for organizations like the Ear Community for giving our son a chance at bilateral hearing.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I contacted Ear Community through email, because we are not on Facebook and to my surprise, Melissa responded right away! I have read helpful articles and blogs on the site for years. Information is great, but I was trying to locate another local boy with Microtia around my son’s age, 15. We’ve never had a friend that personally understands, and it would mean the world. I didn’t know Ear Community was this family of incredible people. Even though we still don’t know who the local high school student is, it has opened the door to meeting so many others. Just a few days before I contacted Melissa, our son went to a hearing test and found out for the first time in 15 years he could hear out of his Microtia ear! The new ENT thought we already knew. Up until now, reconstruction surgery was the only thing mentioned. I started googling information on the Baha SoundArc and came across Ear Community again. Can’t thank Melissa enough! She has taken the time to reach out and open so many doors. I should have emailed her years ago, but glad I finally did.

2 Karen M.11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When a very dear friend of mine had a daughter, she learned everything she could about her baby girl's condition. Through that, she found this great nonprofit org. and has continued her journey of learning and spreading all she can thru this AMAZING organization. It was through her that I learned about it. When one of my sisters was telling me about having to get some thing inplanted so she could hear (she was in her 50s) I was excited since I knew she was describing her BAHA. I talked with her about it and gave her the website to check, which she said was alot of good information. Thank you for people like Melissa!

2 Will S.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

So happy to have found this group! Thanks to their Facebook page & summer picnics, I have learned a lot about modern devices available to those with microtia & atresia.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Ear Community is the most amazing organization, absolutely saved my life! So much support, information and love. Having a child born with microtia and artesia, with no answers, the Ear Community was there for me!

2 Kristen H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The support and community we have had from Ear Community has been vital to my daughter and our family. We look forward to the picnics and the knowledge that we are not alone! When my daughter was born in January 2016, I had never heard of Microtia/Atresia and it was frightening and daunting. After contacting Ear Community after a simple google search, I was instantly plugged into vitally important information and resources, it took a lot of burden and fear away! I know that Ear Community will continue to be a wonderful part of our my daughter's life!!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

My first child was born with right microtia atresia and Ear Community was the only organization that was equip with all the support, information and management details I needed to care for my child that was born without a right ear canal, associated conductive hearing loss and underdeveloped ear. The founder personally contacted me right away and we spoke on the phone when my daughter was just a few days old! She helped me every step of the way, she provided support, sympathy, shared her personal story and battles and most of all, had endless knowledge and information to share that she had acquired through years of dedication, research and outreach. Thanks to Ear Community, my daughter has thrived as I was able to give her the best chance in life to blossom despite her underdeveloped ear.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent organization putting together with people in need of information about Microtia.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was diagnosed with microtia and we knew nothing about it. A “google” search at the hospital lead us to Ear Community. The website had way more information than we knew from a brief and overwhelming trip to the ENT. When I contacted a manufacturer of bone conducting hearing devices, they put me in touch with Melissa. Melissa from Ear Community right away contacted me and then called me. She spent so much time talking to me about her own experiences with her daughter Ally, it was heartwarming knowing we were not alone on this journey. When your child is born with a little known condition, you scour the internet for any information you can. Ear Community and it’s staff has informed us and given us comfort that our son is going to be just fine. Furthermore, their immediate responses and fostering of such an inviting community is commendable. Ear Community fosters not only an online community but a chance for families to meet each other through picnics and a chance to meet vendors of different products that are of interest to individuals with microtia and atresia. This non profit is amazing and should be recognized for its hard work. When your doctors tell you as a parent that you will be the expert on a condition that few know much about, Ear Community is there to fill in the gaps from an information as well as emotional standpoint. Our family is forever grateful.

5 Nisrien K.

Donor

Rating: 5

What can’t I say about such a great nonprofit that helps so many. It has been able to give bone conduction hearing aids to children in need. Also as a community others have been able to donate this very expensive hearing aids to families that need them. On top of all this the resources and support provided to help us parents in dealing with microtia atresia is amazing. The money you donate is spent very well in helping others.

5 Sheila L.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My grandson was just born with microtia and atresia. I cannot even tell you how greatly happy we were to find this page. The ability to know other people were going through the same thing, the advice, and the ability to find information and know there was help out there. After reading the page and going to links and carefully reading what to do next we feel ready to get through this. My grandson is almost 2 weeks old and in a couple days we will be at Uof M for our appointments to the audiologist and ENT. With this page I felt like a better advocate to ask the peditrician to send us to the important specialist ASAP. We are a grateful family and recommend this page!! Thanks Again!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We LOVE Ear Community! The information has been awesome, we went to a picnic and I was brought to tears to see other children just like my little girl. This organization is a godsend and I am so glad to have found it!

4 Jen H.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 3yr old daughter Lily has unilateral Microtia and Atresia of the right ear. I found your organization on the internet after she was fitted with her softband at 6 months and I just wanted you to know it has been an absolute blessing to me and my daughter! Being able to share and read other families trials, successes, and experiences has made all the difference in the world when often times we feel so alone or that others around us do not understand. I was able to attend the Nashville conference and family picnic thanks to you and this foundations efforts so again THANK YOU! It was such a wonderful, educational, eye opening experience.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

As most other parents of a child born with Microtia Atresia we were clueless when she was born as were the doctors and nurses we came in contact with. I found out about Ear Community (EC) while searching online and it has been a wonderful experience for us.

Many parents feel like they are on an island and Ear Community has made us and our daughter realize there are children all over the world like her. EC hosts picnics internationally as well as in the US, educates medical professionals and advocates for our children. Working with hearing device manufacturers, we are able to donate hearing aids to need-based children worldwide. Without this organization, parents would have to spend countless hours searching for answers that aren't readily available.

Our founder, Melissa, works tirelessly to grow the organization while searching for funding. While Ear Community may not be as well know as other causes, it is vital to parents and any size donation will have an amazing impact on our children.

5 Alma H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ear community has been a blessing in our son's journey with dealing with Microtia/Atresia. When I first had my baby I was totally clueless. Luckily after only a few weeks, I found the group online and I joined the support group on FB. Ear community has helped so many encounter advice, help, support and even their own aids. Through the organization we have been able to meet others in our same situation. We were lucky enough to make it to one of the picnics and we were able to meet many families with kids with Microtia. Ear community has also done a wonderful job in trying to share Microtia Awareness. Truly a blessing!! Thanks Ear Community!!

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ear Community is an invaluable resource for everyone wishing to know more about all aspects of Microtia/Atresia. It is sincerely appreciated and well-respected by audiological/medical communities, educators, counsellors, and among related professionals. One of Ear Community's chief priorities is to be a complete resource for families and individuals managing Microtia/Atresia. I have been acquainted with Ear Community for many years. I use them as my GoTo for anything related to Microtia/Atresia. So thankful for this great amazing group doing such important work. Dr. Linda Cox, Florida Audiologist

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ear Community is a nonprofit organization /network for those who have and know loved ones with Microtia and Atresia. This is a place of immense knowledge and a great to seak information and advice. The Ear Community is an amazing community, they care and support whenever and however the can.

5 Viviana G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The day my son was born we learned he had bilateral Microtia/ Atresia. Since then I found the Ear Community online/ Facebook and I sent a message seeking advice not knowing what to expect or what to do next. The founder (Melissa Tumblin) sent me a long reply with tons of information, what to expect, what specialist I should set appointments with and most important of all gave us hope and encouragement to be the best advocates for my son now (4 months old). I'm so grateful I found this organization early on to get the resources, support and peace of mind we needed. They've been a Godsend

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hi Everyone,

This is Arkin, a Bilateral Microtia Atresia from Philippines. Since Arkin was born Ear Community was became my most favorite web page. It's became my Dictonary, My Reader's digest, and My Magazine.

Most of all, I am very thankful to this generous Organization. They donated 2 bone anchored hearing devices to my son just right it time when he is learning his speech skills . Ear Comm. You are the one who introduce the beauty of music and sounds. It was an answered prayer for us! Getting Aid here in my country is like playing Mission Impossible! I was devastated then but Ear Comm has became the God's way of helping us. All this Amazing works happen last Aug 2015. And now, Arkin is 2 yrs old. A happy kiddo who love to sing and dance. Love to say hello with a pretty smile in every people he meet along his way. I am sure you'll be proud on him!

Thank you so much!
And I will be forever grateful!

Happy Mom,
Jhoan

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When my son was born with Microtia and atretia, at first I didn't know what it was so I felt devastated I had no one to turn to, I felt alone confused about my sons future. I did several google search until I came across the Ear Community. I sent them a message asking for help, they reply right away with tons of information and support. Today thanks to the Ear Community I know a lot more about my sons condition.

5 Beth M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I LOVE Ear Community! I have gotten so much support, and education from this organization's website. Truly a life-changer for my family!

5 Aaron55

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing people and amazing network of volunteers! They helped me in my time of need and I am forever grateful! I help and donate what I can!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Ear Community and it's creator, Melissa Tumblin, have truly been a lifesaver for my family from the very beginning of our journey with a child with Microtia and Atresia. Our daughter was diagnosed with right-sided Microtia and Atresia at birth and our pediatrician had very little to no knowledge about her condition. The emotional roller coaster that accompanied specialist appointments, and navigating the very scary territory of figuring out how to raise our special needs daughter, was greatly calmed once I reached out to the Ear Community for help. I searched the website and found so much helpful information that I wished I had found earlier. Not only was I better able to understand my daughter's condition better but I was able to connect with other parents of kids with Microtia and create great supportive friendships that have latter over the years. The Ear Community also holds numerous picnics over the summer in a variety of locations to help gather families and people effected by Microtia, Atresia and other facial deformities and syndromes. These picnics allowed us to talk to specialists and learn the latest procedures available as well as try out devices and talk to people to find out about their experiences. I cannot express how incredibly wonderful and helpful these picnics are to attend. My daughter LOVES meeting other people with a BAHA and little ear like hers. The Ear Community also provided my daughter with a new hearing device last year and words cannot express how grateful we are for the generosity that the Ear Community has shown us. We will forever be grateful for the comfort and knowledge we received from this wonderful site and Melissa personally.

5 Erin111

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ear Community is such a fantastic organization. They offer support, resources, and information and provide a community to feel a part of. We are so thankful to have the Ear Community to rely on.

5 Misty H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love the Ear Community!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️
So thankful for an amazing group that is so full of support and information for the Microtia/Atresia community.
Thank you for all that you do!! ❤️

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

Ear Community is the best resource for anyone with Microtia and Atresia. When my son was born the Doctors didn't even know what was wrong with my sons ear. I spent countless hours that night in the hospital researching why it could be. That is when I found Ear Community. No better resource nor support group out there! The work they do with hearing device donations is amazing! Th support provided by the organization from advice to moral support is unheard of these days! I wish more people would step up and help this organization with donations so they can continue to help others!

5 Melissa311

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter Sophia was born with bilateral microtia and atresia. When she was first born we were confused and had no answers on where to turn and directions on our next steps. When Sophia was 3 months old we saw an ent and learned what her birth defect was called. After learning the name we googled it and stumbled upon ear communities website. Honestly, we did not realize how life changing finding ear community would be for Sophia on her microtia journey. We have a great ENT but there was still information and options we were unaware of until we found ear community. Ear community is where we found out about the cochlear BAHA soft band that allowed Sophia to hear in her right ear. This sight is also where my daughter has found life long friends who are on their own microtia journey. I could go on and on. The founder of ear community has poured her time, energy, and heart into helping families and individuals with microtia in every way possible. For that we are forever grateful!
Melissa Shemanski

5 Kassandra O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born with right sided Microtia & Atresia grade 3. He was baby number 3 for us! So never in my wildest dreams did I think my son would be born with a birth defect since my other 2 were born perfectly healthy. When he was born the Doctor’s hand was covering his little ear and when she placed him on my chest, it was little ear down. So for about 30 minutes or so we had no idea he was born with a fairly rare ear abnormality. When I flipped him over to get a good look at his cute chubby little face I noticed his ear was folded over….I thought nothing of it being my 3rd child because I know newborns cartilage is very thin. I tried unfolding it, but I couldn’t and it was then I realized something was not right. I asked both nurses in the room what it was & they stated they’ve seen this before- but did not know the medical terminology. I frantically looked at his fingers and toes to make sure there were 10 & thankfully there were.

I spent the next 12 hours in fear and tears wondering what I could have done to cause this. Ultimately, blaming myself…could it be the flu shot I got, could it have been the few drinks I had PRIOR to knowing I was pregnant, could it have been stress, food??? I wanted to google it so bad because I am the “Google Queen” says my husband- but he told me not to. He said I shouldn’t scare myself and I should wait for the doctor to come in and give the diagnosis. As soon as I got home I googled his diagnosis and found the wonderful Ear Community! Hands down the best google search ever! :)

I reached out to Melissa via Facebook messenger in hopes she could in some way ease my fears and worries and that is exactly what she did! She was kind enough to call me that same night. I’ll never forget that conversation. Melissa told me her story about her beautiful daughter Ally and how she blamed herself at one point which most mothers do in the beginning. I thought that was so kind of her. I knew right then and there this was a special organization.

For the next 6 months to a year I religiously followed every single post on Ear Community. It helped me get though my post-partum depression and lead me to realize even though my family and I have never met anyone with Microtia/Atresia, we were not alone and it wasn’t as rare as the doctors made it out to be. I was able to ask questions for all my sons future doctor’s appointments (there were a lot) & everyone was so responsive & supportive. When he got his BAHA at 3 months I couldn’t wait to share it with the group! How cool is that? I was able to feel proud after months of blaming myself. This organization is truly a gem! Ear Community is a support group of everyday parents just trying to raise their kids the best they can and it’s so nice that no matter your view on surgery or aiding your child is we can all relate and support each other no matter what and that is pretty special!

I also want to mention a very special family we connected with thanks to EC, The Bayan’s have become family to us and our boys will grow up together knowing they are not alone just as Christine and I did. So thank you Ear Community for the endless support and love!

6 Jay_49

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter, Eden, was born on September 19, 2010. The first time I saw her the nurses were around her and I said light-heartedly, "does she have 10 fingers and toes". The nurses assured me that she did, but they showed me that her ear was folded over. I had absolutely no idea what had happened and I had never seen or heard of a child being born with an undeveloped ear. I went back to our hospital room shortly after and starting researching on the Internet. Within an hour of Eden's birth I found the Facebook support page that evolved into Ear Community, and I was talking on the phone with Melissa. I've relied heavily on Ear Community the last five years while making decisions for my daughter. She is scheduled to have surgery on July 29. Without this group and the support and advice that I have received I would have been far less educated and confident moving forward with Eden's surgery next month. I can't thank Melissa and all of the members of this group enough for sharing their knowledge, experiences and stories with me. Eden and I are very fortunate to have found this group so quickly. Thank you, Ear Community!

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ear Community is a great resource for people with the fairly rare condition of microtia and Artesia to get information that is hard to find, even from doctors, and even better...it's all on one website! The website also has tons of useful information for many others with hearing loss and craniofacial abnormalities. It's also a great way to meet people who understand what I go through and share support. They also do a great job of housing summer picnics around the world (although mainly U.S. since that's where they are located and have the most volunteers). I've been attending them for three years, and it's always a great opportunity!

7 Colleen70

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ear Community was there when my family needed it most. We found Ear Community when my son born with Bilaterl Atresia Microtia and was about 3 months old. Ear Community provided the education, resources and the community we needed to filter through the medical journey of this diagnosis. It was fantastic to speak to other families who had walked our shoes, used our surgeon, used the same hearing aides, worked with insurance companies for approval, navigated through the educational needs of our child and were the encouragement we needed as questions arose.

I love that Ear Community is there for those who are unable to obtain aides...the leadership is fully invested and responsible. I love this organization.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When my daughter was born in April of 2012, we were a little lost as to where to turn for information about her little ear. My husband had found a quick diagnosis on the internet but it wasn't until a plastic surgeon we had been referred to showed us Ear Community. Oh my what a change to our family! While I definitely had my days here and there of mourning the new world we would be jumping into, I was ever so grateful for the support and the deep well of knowledge put together on this website. It astonishes me that a mother, just like me, has created this movement and this whole world-wide community. Industry professionals, global surgeons, and even the big companies who manufacture our specialized sound processors have taken notice. www.EarCommunity.com is a game changer, if you are only willing to take the time and r-e-a-d then you can educate yourself and be a wonderful advocate for yourself or someone you love.