|My Fundraising Goal:|
|Money Raised to Date:|
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|Join me in my efforts to support The Canadian Hearing Society!|
I am participating in an exhilarating fundraising event for The Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) called CHS Quest. CHS Quest is a team oriented, Smartphone-based scavenger hunt inspired by the television show The Amazing Race. Last year, my friends from CHS and I participated in our first CHS Quest event in Toronto as the Duchesses of York. With your support we were able to raise more than $2,000!
For our second year in this event and we are hoping to raise more than $5000! This time, our local CHS office (York Region) will directly receive 25% of our teamís earnings. As a team, we are helping to create a society where all people are respected; have full access to communication; and are able to participate without social, economic, or emotional barriers to communication. Please sponsor my team and help us to make a difference.
Donations of $20 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt from CHS. Together with your support, we can reach our fundraising goal and help CHS continue to provide its complete roster of specialized services.
I have been a life-long client of CHS in Sarnia, Toronto and now in York Region (Newmarket) and this is my reason for being a supporter of this fundraiser. I have been profoundly deaf since early childhood and lived in Sarnia with my family. There were no CHS services in Sarnia at the time but my family was able to access the Toronto CHS office for the early years of support for advocacy and audiological needs. Through this office and later when Sarnia opened their area office, my parents and I were able to continue use the valuable resources that were offered at both the new office and Toronto. It was through CHS that I received various support for my educational years right through to post-secondary. I had my first job at the Toronto CHS office when I was a university student. Several years later, I attended CHSís ASL courses and linguistic classes while working as a new, young teacher in Toronto.
I was hired as a teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for the York Region Board of Education (YRDSB) in 1990. At that time there were no CHS offices in the GTA. I continued to use the Toronto office until a new CHS office opened in Newmarket. Twelve years ago, I was invited to attend their newly formed Community Development Board meetings and became a Council member shortly afterwards. I am currently the Chairperson for this hard working committee and truly enjoy working with fellow council members, CHS staff and volunteers.
Eight years ago, I had suddenly lost the remaining of my residual hearing and was no longer able to use my powerful hearing aids or any amplification devices. It was a very terrifying and demoralizing experience. My life had changed dramatically overnight. I could no longer understand what my husband or children were saying and they, too, were being affected by the sudden change in my ability to communicate with them. I had to depend on speech reading and texting for all of my communication as no one in my family was fluent in sign language. I could no longer enjoy my favorite music, appreciate my childrenís musicals/dance recitals, and attend social events without the despairing feeling of being lost, isolated and disjointed from the rest of the world. I felt that I could no longer continue to work effectively as a teacher. I went to CHS in York for support. The CHS staff and volunteers did their best to assist me with whatever resources they had at the time. The YRDSB Disability Management Services, my Regional Special Education team and fellow colleagues helped to adjust my teaching caseload and provided support so that I could continue working with my students. I am forever grateful for CHS and YRDSBís support, guidance and encouragement. However, there were still communication barriers that I faced in my daily life as a mother, wife, friend, teacher and volunteer. Still to this day, full access to communication is a dream.
I am fortunate to have had the gift of hearing returned to me through the use of bilateral cochlear implants. It was such a blessing to be able to hear my husband and children once again. The discovery of sounds that I never heard before, even with hearing aids, is such an adventure and continues to be to this day. Although I still have difficulty hearing well, especially in group situations or noisy environments. I still depend on speech reading, captioning and use of amplification for accessing auditory messages through music, plays, etc. The use of my cochlear implants has really helped me to regain my confidence. With this confidence and assurance to speak up about the need for better access in my daily life, I am able to continue in my quest to raise awareness and help provide an accessible world for my students and friends with hearing losses. Please help me to make my dream become a reality.
Your contributions, small or big, would be greatly appreciated.
With much appreciation,