Help Justin Hear Again

When I was 14 years old I was diagnosed with a progressive bilateral hearing loss and that I would be deaf by the time I was 25.  Certainly a dire and unexpected diagnosis.  Fortunately my hearing lasted a little longer than that, but today it's pretty much gone and I've been missing out on a lot of my life because of it.  Over the last 2-5 years my hearing has dropped to a point where I can't participate in most conversations, don't use the phone, and at best have a hard time listening to music and well...just about everything.  

With this hearing loss, I've not been able to be myself.  I think of it as being an extrovert that's forced to live like an introvert.  It's overwhelmingly difficult and isolating.  It makes finding a job much more difficult.  It takes away one of my favorite thing in the world: swing dancing and blues dancing (including DJing!). 

But there's hope!

I am on a path to get a cochlear implant, a device that essentially replaces natural hearing to some degree.  Unfortunately it's a very expensive procedure.  From approval through surgery, to rehabilitation I expect costs to be up to $100,000+.  And that's just for one ear!!! I do have health insurance, at least for now, which will hopefully cover a lot of the costs, but I do expect upwards of $20,000 of out-of-pocket expenses, if not more.  

I have recently set a surgery date of September 7th, pending insurance approval, so I am hoping by then, or soon after, I will have reached my funding goal here.  

I can't quite explain how much this is needed.  I'm terrified to go into further debt, as I am not so young, so I am here doing two things I don't love:  self-promotion and asking for money.  However, with an implant, I stand a good chance of gaining enough hearing to start to be myself again, to be able to go out dancing, have meaningful conversations, and find rewarding work.  

I thank you so much for having made it this far and if you do contribute, please know that you are helping to improve my life a great deal, and that...that is not worth just a thank you.  You become part of my life and will always be in my thoughts.  I will work hard to ensure that your contribution makes a difference with not only me but to others.  I hope to have a long career working with students in higher education, and with better hearing, hope to make a positive impact on as many people as possible.  You'll be part of that, on my team, so to speak.  

Please feel free to ask questions or if you have concerns or other thoughts.  I am very open about my situation and would be happy to answer. 

Thank you all,

  • Sarah Ullenberg  
    • $25 
    • 64 mos
  • Angie Fadness 
    • $50 
    • 64 mos
  • Callie Blumberg 
    • $50 
    • 64 mos
  • Kacy Brady 
    • $205 
    • 64 mos
  • Jeanette Bailey  
    • $10 
    • 64 mos
See all


Justin Raibolt 
Milwaukee, WI
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