My name is Aimee Amber Oliva-Cummings. I was born on September 14, 2010 to Dennis R. Cummings, an American National, and Irish Mendiola Oliva-Cummings, a Philippine National. I have one little sister and a brother/sister who will appear the week of Christmas of 2015. I am telling my story with the help of my father in order to help my parents raise financial help for my medical condition. I am a vibrant four-year-old with profound hearing loss in both ears. I have seen five doctors so far and been through two operations in order to fix my hearing. The doctors are telling my parents that my hearing was damaged when my mother contracted German Measles (Rubella) two months into her pregnancy with me. My parents noticed that I was not talking (baby babble) when my father came for a visit from Iraq. I was eight months old at the time and this is when my journey begins. Every last doctor told my parents the same thing. Usually they apologize with, "Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Cummings, but Aimee has profound hearing loss." They were saying that I had inflammation in both of my ears, so they need to insert tubes into my ears to drain the infection. My parents paid for this operation themselves due to the fact that my father's insurance company Tri-Care was not accepted here (Philippines) at the time, so they had to pay 70,000 pesos (1,800 USD) for my operation. The doctor gave my parents false hopes. He told them that I would be able to hear once the inflammation is gone, but I never regained my hearing from the procedure. My parents took me to other doctors for help. To this day I have had multiple hearing tests done. They consisted of ABR's, ASSR,'s and Play Test. All of the results are the same. I can hear low frequencies, but not high frequencies. The doctors advised my parents that hearing aides will help my condition, so my parents bought me digital hearing aides for 90,000 pesos (2,300 USD) cash. They had to sell some of their personal belongings and borrow money from family members to buy me the devices. It took them months to save for the hearing aides. Once I was fitted the doctor told my parents that my hearing will get better but it has not. This was crushing for my parents because I am now four years old and I should be in school. My father is hurting because he cannot help me. He has his own medical problems. My father is an Iraq War Veteran who suffers from PTSD, chronic back pain, chronic migraines, and other medical conditions. He is not able to work because of this. My mother is a school teacher. She is not able to work because she is taking care of my father. The only money my family receives is my father's monthly disability payments from the US Veterans Affairs and they had to spend money on hearing aides that only helped me a little. My glimmer of hope came one day when one of the therapist at the center where I receive speech therapy told my mother about this company called Med El. This company provides cochlear implants to patients around the world. My parents did research about the company and found out it is an Austrian Company with a great success rate with their implants, so my mother contacted a representative with the company , and she went over my medical history with them and advised them I am a good candidate for cochlear implants. The Audiologist from Med El told them that it will cost 900,000 pesos (19,000 USD) for the implants and at least 400,000 pesos (9,000 USD) for doctor fees and hospitalization. I am only four years old and I know this is a lot of my money for my family. My parents will need 1.3 million pesos (31,000 USD) at todays exchange rate for my operation. She told them that my government( Philippines ) will help with a fraction of the payment if we qualify but by my father being an American, there is a great chance that we will get denied and audiologist also told them there are other charitable organizations who will help if we qualify. My parents are not rich and no insurance will cover the price for my operation. My parents have to pay thousands of pesos/ hundreds of dollars to get me ready for the operation. I will need an MRI and other medical tests completed before they operate on me. My parents do not have enough money to help me and it will take them years to save for my operation. I do not want to be a financial burden to them. I have two younger siblings they have to take care of also. Once they have started the application for my operation and financial help from the Philippine Government, we are on a time clock and I have three months to get the operation done. I am on this platform telling my story in order to get my family help. My father is a proud former soldier and I know that he will do anything and everything in this world to help me, but he is not able to work because of his military/combat injuries. I am pleading with anyone who is reading my story to help me help my family. I want to to live the life of an average four year old.
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