Hello Friends & Family,
Out of a Rutt and into another year for our 6th Walk 4 Hearing! We have a new team name & are hopeful to join the walk in person at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Please read on to catch up on our past year and support Riley in her hearing journey!
This past year we have started to return to some level of "normalcy" in a Covid concurrent world. We've learned that while masks help prevent disease, they make it even harder for those with hearing loss. Like so many other kids her age, Riley missed a lot of core education over the past few years, so we work very hard to try to close the gaps. In addition, we are looking into some potential hearing related learning/processing challenges which continue add to our hearing journey.
Riley is now 9 years old and she and her TWO ears have been busy learning how to ride horses, playing soccer on her first soccer team, and chasing waves & seagulls on our annual trip to Bethany Beach. She is an amazing 4th grade who loves dancing, animals, and her screen time (sigh).
Our lives continue to grow busier & busier, but this walk always brings me back to where we started with Riley, what we have already overcome, and the forever non-visible challenges, changes, and acievements we will encounter. Thank you to my new & returning donors for your kindness supports kids like Riley, and all of those who face hearing challenges.
For new friends & old... below is a little history of our journey.
Riley has been on her hearing journey since the day she was born. She was born with grade 3 microtia and atresia (little ear and no canal) on her right side, causing significant hearing loss. We have supported Riley’s surgical reconstructive journey to improve her hearing and provide her with a typical looking external ear. In September 2019 she had ear canal surgery, followed by eardrum surgery in January 2020, and finally the Medpor medical implant to give her a new external ear in July 2020 (in Beverly Hills, CA - flights, covid tests, masks and all!!). All her surgeries were determined to be a huge success. Riley’s hearing has significantly improved and now only has mild hearing loss. She has very minimal scarring from her surgeries and although we have had a few scares with the new body part (cuts & scrapes), they have healed well and Riley is 100% back to all her normal kid fun!
Riley has been AMAZING through all of her surgeries, recovery, mask wearing (which still has to be around her head, not her ears), and is starting to bravely bare her ear.
Please donate to this fantastic cause on her behalf. The money raised goes to many different organizations, including the MCIU, CHOP, and The Ear Community (a few of which have helped us navigate the hearing loss world). I am so proud of Riley and we hope to pay forward the support and learnings she has benefitted from on to others through the Walk4Hearing.
Many thanks in advance for your donation, support, and love <3.
Shelby Latchford Rutt
Why Walk? We walk because hearing loss is a public health issue third in line after heart disease and arthritis.
Hearing loss affects one's ability to communicate every day in different situations - from a dinner conversation at a noisy restaurant, on the phone, to not hearing alarm clocks and smoke alarms. For people with hearing loss, these situations can be become obstacles without the right information and support. HLAA provides the assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.
For more information about HLAA, please visit www.hearingloss.org.