Having a conductive hearing loss is many times associated with a condition called Microtia. Even though this is not the actual cause of my hearing loss, I’ve met many wonderful people (adult and children) who wear a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid – BAHA due to this condition. When I first created this piece, I did it in honor of Microtia Awareness Day, on November 9th. When I publicized my work, Melissa Tumblin, the founder of the Ear Community Organization got in touch with me asking to share the video and photos of this piece with her community. Coincidentally, her organization is the one that established National Microtia Awareness Day. Since 2010, they helped thousands of children and adults who were born with Microtia and Atresia, and their families. They also hosted nearly 50 events all over the world, donated 80 nee bone conduction hearing devices, and awarded nearly 10 college scholarships. Melissas’s daughter Ally, was born with Microtia and is considered the poster child for their foundation. This year I decided to transform this piece to be inspired on Ally’s story and her mom’s touching mission to look out for all the ones who have Microtia/Atresia.
I changed the doll’s device to look just like the Ponto Plus Ally wears and instead of having a lady bug device like before, I created a Microtia Elf butterfly (that’s its real name) and have it be landed on her device. It’s been a wonderful and touching experience to connect with such wonderful people.
Ally, I truly hope your path will transform the lives of many with your beauty and power.
Please take your time to learn, send love and support
to all the ones affected by it. Go to Ear Community Organization to learn more: https://earcommunity.org/
According to Stanford Children’s Health, Microtia is a congenital deformity of the outer ear where the ear does not fully develop during the first trimester of pregnancy. The word “microtia” means “little ear”, from the Latin words “micro” and “otia”. Microtia ears vary in appearance, and are usually smaller in size, often only consisting of a tiny peanut-shaped lobe. Microtia occurs about 1 in 5,000 births, though rates can vary depending on ethnic background. In 90% of cases, it affects only one ear, usually the right ear, and is more common in males. Microtia describes the outer ear, but is often associated with absence of the ear canal (called canal atresia or aural atresia), or an extremely narrow ear canal (canal stenosis).