Parents Jess and Nick passionately raise awareness and funds so children who are born deaf can hear and speak, just like Will and Edie.
Three-year-old Will, loves playing in the sandpit with trucks and diggers, exploring outside and playing with his friends at the park. Will was diagnosed with profound hearing loss at birth.
“We were utterly shocked – it took us completely by surprise,” said Jess.
“We were told about Hear and Say at the hospital after Will was referred on his newborn hearing screen and we first visited the organisation for his audiology assessment to confirm his diagnosis,” she said.
Will underwent cochlear implant surgery at 11 months old and comes to Hear and Say for regular speech therapy and audiology appointments.
“Hear and Say has made a world of difference for us. Our son has had access to early intervention which has allowed him to listen, talk, learn about his world and interact with his community,” said Jess.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions but so incredible – Will amazes my husband and I everyday with the things he hears and can say,” she said.
“He is able to talk and listen just like his peers and for us, that's magic!”
In late 2021, Jess and Nick had their second child, Edie, who was also born with profound hearing loss.
“Again, I was shocked. We knew there was a chance of Edie being born with hearing loss however I was still baffled when we got her diagnosis,” said Jess.
“In some ways it's been easier the second time around. We knew what to expect and what the potential outcomes were from therapy and the use of technology,” she said.
“She has been diligently wearing her hearing aids and we have been going to speech therapy to work on early listening skills and social skills.
“She is doing really well – we love hearing her babble!”
Jess and Nick are back on board for their third Loud Shirt Day fundraising event this year, and said it’s all pretty simple to get started.
“2020 was our first year being involved, and it was very easy to get set up. We started by creating a Loud Shirt Day fundraising page online, and then sent the link out to our friends and family through social media,” said Jess.
“Loud shirt day is a fabulous campaign for a great cause that’s very close to my family’s heart,” she said.
“We feel touched when our friends and family support Hear and Say as we know first-hand where the funds go and the impact it can have on a child’s life. We are forever grateful for the support of Hear and Say.”
When we asked Jess and Nick their three tips to anyone taking part in Loud Shirt Day, they said…
- Create an online donation page and get loud on Loud Shirt Day
- Get active on social media
- Rally your friends and family and ask them to share your story to expand your network