(If you're looking for Josh Swiller's video, scroll down!)
And now for a very special family with an unbelievable story and a PHENOMENAL MOMMA!
I would like to introduce the world to VAL, hers was the first blog I ever read, she was the first person to congratulate me on RALLY CAPS when I found the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Circle, she then read the book, WENT TO HER LIBRARY AND REQUESTED THAT THEY ORDER IT SO THAT OTHER KIDS COULD HAVE ACCESS TO A BOOK WITH A CHARACTER THEY COULD IDENTIFY WITH...above and beyond the call of duty. But this isn't about me, it's about Val and her COCHLEAR KIDS - GAGE AND BROOK
(Copied from Val's blog)
INTRODUCING COCHLEAR KIDS
This blog is about hard work, dedication, and love for two people, who despite being deaf...teach us more about ourselves everyday and what's important in life...than we ever imagined. In a way they've taught us how to really hear for the first time...love Mom & Dad
GAGE AND BROOK
Here are two Cochlear Kids. They are "today's deaf children". They wear Cochlear implants, a device surgically implanted into the ear, to hear. As babies, hearing aids weren't sufficient enough with the amount of their loss to produce clear sounding speech. We upgraded to the Nucleus Freedom implants and both have great speech despite being deaf. Combined with early intervention, Children's Rehab Services of Alabama, Charity League,speech therapy, and the latest technology, our kids can attend public school and sit in a regular classroom. It really does take a village to raise a child. Gage has graduated Kindergarten and remained near the top of his class all year. He received a Smarty Pants award for his grades and was awarded Class Clown. He's doing well in first grade now and he has no speech delays and no longer needs speech therapy.Brook currently attends a wonderful special ed preschool. We expect that by age 5 she too can attend regular public school. It's hard to believe that two kids born with this disability have far surpassed our expectations. It's taken a lot of hard work and we still work at it everyday but they continue to amaze me. When a five year old asks you what does it sound like to take a bath? Or when you've burned breakfast and he wakes with a fire alarm blaring over-head and says...what's that smell?having heard nothing...it keeps everything in perspective. Sometimes you just have to look at what's ahead of you instead of looking beside you. We've been blessed and have always had people go above and beyond to ensure my children will have a bright future. Education is the only cure for ignorance.
Val educates others regarding hearing loss by volunteering for various organizations and attending workshops, meetings and fairs to distribute information on choices in deafness for the various degrees of hearing loss. She shares her ideas and experience and asks questions to other parents on a yahoo support group that she helped to create with Amy another SUPERMOM called learn2hear This is an outstanding group for parents of younger children just beginning their auditory-verbal therapy journey.
MEET GAGE AND BROOK!!!
INSPIRATIONAL FAMILY!!!!!!!!!! LIVE FOR THAT SOUTHERN DRAWLLLLLLLLL!
(PS. Val, thank you so much for all of your support!)