This is Stefanie. You may know her. She may have poured you a cup of coffee once, taught your kids to ski, was your guide on a stand-up-paddle tour, or maybe even coached you on the running team. She tries to make every part of life an adventure. But lately, it's been tough to keep up.
Stefanie has a condition called otosclorosis, which means the tiny bones in her ear don't vibrate to transmit sound. This condition is treatable with surgery, but after years of medical instability, and another recent surgery it's not an option right now. Hearing aids are a temporary but effective fix.
If you've never noticed that Stef has hearing loss, it's because neither had she. Otosclorosis is a progressive condition, and she didn't wake up one day moderately deaf. She describes it to everyone like the volume of the world slowly got turned down, and it took the results of the hearing test for her to realise how low it had actually gotten.
Stefanie underwent a thyroidectomy this May to remove a malignant tumour from her neck. The lead up to surgery and recovery were hard on her emotionally and physically, and she is very frustrated by another medical bump in the road. After years of battling numerous health conditions, hospitalizations and the long recoveries and ups and downs, she's frustrated that such a simple condition could have more impact on her life than a life treatening neurological condition, and a cancerous tumour.
Hearing aids are expensive. The average hearing aids cost upwards of $2000 for each ear, and outfitting both ears means doubling that. Stefanie is thankful that technology has progressed enough for there to be water and dust resistent hearing aids that will allow her to continue working as a ski instructor and on-water guide.
We don't have full health coverage. Stefanie relies on the recently enacted provincial drug coverage to help her cover the cost of her necessary medications ($500 a month), and there is no help from the provincial government for hearing aids.
We're currently paying monthly fees to rent the hearing aids, but cost per month is unsustainable. Because of her seasonal work, she will soon be inbetween jobs dealing with a drastically reduced income until the snow falls when she will continue with Crabbe Mountain.
Hearing aids already have made an incredible difference. She is able to hear background noise while on the water speaking with clients and will be able to safely instruct her students while wearing a ski helmet.
Now that she has hearing aids, she won't stop pointing out everyday noises but the biggest difference is being able to socialise in loud environments. Without hearing aids, she struggled to participate in converastion having to strain to hear a singular voice overpowered by a wave of background noise.
Life has immediately become easier, despite the many other medical issues she is currently dealing with.
The full cost of Stefanie hearing aids is 5382.96. Adding in the cost of her custom ear molds, and additional technology to connect her to the world, we've come up with the sum of $5500. Any percentage of this raised will ease the financial burdon of opening the world up to Stefanie again.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read and share. We are so grateful for everyone who has helped us or reached out during Stefanie's surgery and recovery, and who continue to make sure our girl is doing ok. We truly appreciate any amount put forward; we are just happy to continue to live a life of adventure and for her to hear the birds and the waves.
- Brian Price
- Brooks Kathy
- Tara Parkinson
- Kendra Sheppard