The significance of hearing loss began in childhood
Dr. Reekers' family history
Dr. Reekers' passion for helping others began with her own hearing loss. As toddlers, both she and her brother experienced chronic ear infections and multiple sets of tubes. Her brother first received diagnosis of a cholesteatoma (abnormal skin-mass that grew behind his eardrum) requiring surgery to remove the benign tumor. The mass unfortunately eroded the bones of his middle ear and resulted in moderately-severe hearing loss since age four.
Dr. Reekers followed in her brother's footsteps with discovery of a cholesteatoma at age 14. She underwent partial mastoidectomy and reconstruction of her eardrum. Given her own mild-to-moderately severe hearing loss since childhood, Dr. Reekers offers a unique perspective on wearing a hearing aid and living with hearing loss.
Dr. Kain's upbringing
Dr. Kain's passion for helping people with hearing loss began while growing up with her older brother who experienced hearing loss incredibly young. At 18 months, her brother was diagnosed with severe-to-profound hearing loss following meningitis. Given the severity of hearing loss, only one ear remained aidable with a hearing aid. At a very young age, Dr. Kain realized first-hand the daily struggles of having hearing loss, including the importance of language learning and speech understanding. She vividly recalls using her tape recorder to listen to popular songs over and over, to write down the lyrics so that her brother could read them while listening to better follow along. She has since dedicated her life to helping others improve their lives with better hearing.