Hearing Aids for Lelainia

Hi, I'm Lisa and I put up this page to help Lelainia get the funds she needs.  Many of you know Lelainia as a friend;  from her volunteer work in EVERYTHING, as an advocate for accessibility and for NMO, as a mentor for health care students at UBC; some of you know her as an artist and teacher and a few of you know her as the best receptionist on earth.  All of you know how generous she is with her knowledge, experience, kindness and time.  She was reluctant to ask for help but man, she needs those hearing aids and she really needs your help.  Here is her story in her own words.

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It’s really, really hard for me to ask for help because I’ve always been the one to help others, but I’ve run out of options and so I am reaching out.

Here’s what’s happening:

A few weeks ago, I attended an orientation for the UBC Health Mentors program, which was held in a large gym. Three people got up to speak, using a microphone. I was unable to understand a single thing they said and that was my breaking point. For some time now, I have been struggling with my hearing. Living with two autoimmune diseases, I’ve been busy dealing with the fallout from them and my hearing issues were at the bottom of my list.

Last week, I had a consult with an ENT. (Ear Nose & Throat specialist.) I had a hearing test which revealed I’d lost 50 decibels of my hearing and I was referred to an audiologist for hearing aids. For years I have not been able to hear a person or a car coming up behind me. I have also all but given up talking on the phone because it’s just too hard to make out what people are saying. I’ve struggled in meetings (related to my volunteer and advocacy work) and it’s made me feel stupid. I am sure people think I am not listening or paying attention, when nothing could be further from the truth-I pour every ounce of energy I have into trying to keep up. It’s exhausting. I have also developed really bad tinnitus. I can hear my breathing, my heartbeat and my blood rushing inside my head. Sometimes I hear a high pitch ringing. The worst is a non-stop rapid tapping sound that’s like having a woodpecker inside my head. It can last 12 hours at a time and when it happens, I can’t sleep. It’s the other major factor that drove me to see the ENT.

At my appointment, it was determined that in order to treat my hearing loss, I needed over-the-ear aids and the Audiologist fitted me with a pair to try. The difference was night and day. Having not had a single day in my life with normal hearing, it’s utterly amazing what I could hear with the aids. I couldn’t believe how light-weight and comfortable they were., I couldn’t even feel them. (I kept touching my ears to make sure they were still there.) For the first time in my life, someone can have their back to me and whisper and I can hear everything they are saying. That’s a huge leap from a lifetime of at reading lips and body language and lots of guess work. The Audiologist explained to me that once a person has hearing aids, the brain can learn to let go of some of the tinnitus sounds and that can get better too.

I came home from my appointment with the audiologist and cried. I cried because this amazing piece of technology comes at a price and that price is $5000. This is not for a fancy pair of hearing aids-this is what is appropriate to treating my hearing loss, but the cost is so far out of my reach, it’s impossible. I have absolutely no way of paying for them. My extended medical covers $500, which is a drop in the bucket. I have tried to figure out a source of funding and there is absolutely nothing I qualify for, despite being disabled. Without help, I will have no choice but to return them in a couple weeks when the trial ends and go without. It’s absolutely soul crushing to think that the ability to hear is a luxury.   Now that I know how much I am missing out on without them. I feel sad and frustrated.

My best friend, Lisa, has very generously set up this campaign to raise the funds necessary to cover the cost. Having these hearing aids would have an enormously positive impact on my quality of life. I would be so deeply grateful to everyone who can assist in making this happen.  I also want to say that I understand that some friends may not be able to help monetarily, but even just sharing this page via your social media or blog to boost the signal would be a huge help and much appreciated.

Thank you,

Lelainia

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 33 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $140 (Offline)
    • 33 mos
  • Gisele Hardock 
    • $50 
    • 33 mos
  • Rose Momsen 
    • $20 
    • 33 mos
  • Barry Borth 
    • $100 
    • 33 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Lisa RC 
Organizer
Coquitlam, BC
Lelainia Lloyd 
Beneficiary
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