Our Texas Microtia and Atresia Summer Family Picnic was a huge success. Even though it poured rain with thunder and lightening the entire time, close to 90 people had a wonderful time and still found a way to have fun and share experiences with one another. There were little girls hula hooping in the rain and kiddos playing with each other having a blast. Parents had the opportunity to speak with one another and to see their kids play with other kids who have little ears too! Some kids and adults had surgery and some have not or have chosen not to and everyone was still able to share experiences. This was the first time for some families in meeting other families in the same situation. I would like to say a BIG thank you to Cochlear Americas, Oticon Medical, and Sophono for proudly sponsoring our Texas picnic! Our picnics would not be the picnics I envisioned them to be without your help and thank you for wanting to be a part of the Microtia/Atresia community! You have helped make our picnics fun for everyone with the activities provided and for our food and for our park location. Thank you also for bringing demo sound processors for everyone to try on. At least two people were able to hear through a sound processor for the very first time at our Webster picnic. Thank you to Alex Goncarovs (West Coast Regional Sales Manager of Sophono), Kimberlee Griffey (Territory Sales Rep for Oticon), and Kirk (Territory Sales Rep for Cochlear) for being at our Texas picnic helping educate everyone about sound processors and on hearing loss! I would also like to thank Oticon Medical for bringing a $10 iTunes card and an In-The-Ear Hearing Aid Dehumidifier that was raffled off to one lucky little girl. I would like to thank Dr. Arturo Bonilla and Dr. Russell Griffiths for attending our picnic as well and for speaking and mingling with families and individuals about Microtia and Atresia. I would like to thank Allison Vest and Colette Shrader (both anaplastologists) who not only helped educate families about prosthetic ears and brought lots of ear samples for everyone to see, but they also brought some help (Hannah and Sky) who face painted the kids and made balloon animals and the kids just loved that! Allison and Colette also had drawn diagrams on the cement explaining how a prosthetic ears fit and provided some side walk chalk for the kids. I would like to thank Build-A-Bear who donated a fully dressed/stuffed bear that was raffled off to one very lucky little boy. Thank you to Home Depot for donating 2 cases of bottled water and thank you to Sams for donating cupcakes for the kids and a cookie tray. Thank you to the SnoBall Hut for providing snowballs for the kids and to Texas Lite and Pyro who donated the bubble machine for the kids to have fun in. Thank you to Kelly Cardenas for taking pictures of our picnic so we could have the memories of this picnic forever.
I would also like to say a very special thank you to Melanie, Daniel and Nathaniel Mendoza and family and Laura, Jack and John Barzizza for hosting our First Microtia and Atresia picnic in Texas through Ear Community. This was a chance for Melanie and Laura and their families to be able to give back to the Webster/Houston community and to be able to reach out and bring Microtia/Atresia families together. I am thankful for their help and for their friendships. I was told that Daniel (Melanie’s son) was so excited to show off his newly reconstructed ear (by Dr. Bonilla) to everyone and to help answer questions. He also enjoyed trying on the Cochlear processors in all of the different colors that are offered. Daniel also enjoyed handing out pop corn to all of the kids and adults too! Thank you to Nathaniel for running around to Sams and Home Depot and more asking for donations for our picnic. Again, I am so happy to know that more Microtia and Atresia families and individuals were able to come together at one of our picnics and learn about their options from the medical professionals who attended in a relaxed and stress free environment. Thank you for everyone for recognizing Ear Community as a helpful resource and as a place that brings families together to learn about all of their options regarding Microtia and Atresia.
Thank you so much!
Founder of Ear Community and the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook