Paws For A Cause

My name is Tessa Roberts. I am sixteen years old and I am Deaf. I was born with a recessive genetic mutation of my GJB12 gene. Basically, this gene produces a chemical called connexin when it is unmutated. This chemical allows messages to travel across nerves in the inner ear. My body does make this chemical and so it causes difficulties hearing. When the nerves strain to hear it only causes further nerve damage. This is what causes my hearing to progressively deteriorate. 

In February, I was responding to sounds over 85 dB in each ear. For perspective, a quiet conversation is roughly 5 dB and standing next to a jet engine is 100 dB. I wasn't placed with hearing aids until I was fifteen and was never really educated until recently about my options.

Four weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night unable to hearing out of my left ear at all. This sudden hearing loss isn't uncommon for people like myself, but it never came back. I have been undergoing intracochlear steroid injections in attempt to regain my hearing, but I didn't know this sort of thing had a time constraint and I may have missed the window of opportunity for successful treatment. I've had treatment for two weeks with no improvement.

I live with my mom and sister who are both hearing. I live right near two hospitals, a fire department, and the police station. I cannot hear sirens or alarms and I am beginning to learn to drive. I believe a hearing dog would help me transition into the world that I am being blindly thrown into. A service dog would allow me to be aware of things like alarms, notifications, sirens, when someone behind me is trying to talk to me, and so much more. A hearing dog would allow me to become independent and not rely on other hearing people in my environment. I would be able to drive, hike, and converse just like other kids my age. 

If I reach my goal, that would cover adoption fees, spaying/nuetering, the first few months of puppy check ups and shots, as well as training, imprinting, and registering the dog as my service animal. I am a full time student 14th in my class of 409 and also hold two part time jobs to help pay for school expenses and a car I purchased myself. I have my family and employer's support on this and can take time off. However, I can't begin this process until I know that I can financially support this dog. 

I really believe I can benefit from having a service animal and I have recommendation to be placed from my hearing consult as well. I really would appreciate any amount that anyone could give. I appreciate your time, thought, and prayers as well.


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  • Tessa Roberts 
    • $50 
    • 42 mos
  • Mike & Bev Byrne 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Brian & Kate Mullaney 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 43 mos
  • Bonnie Zwirn 
    • $50 
    • 43 mos
  • Deborah Clementi  
    • $20 
    • 43 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Tessa Roberts 
Georgetown, TX
Kimberly Roberts 
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