The following is a small collection of stories that have touched our hearts. We hope they will touch yours, as well.
Since birth, Amilia has often been labelled as unintelligent. But this cannot be farther from the truth. Born with a severe case of hearing loss, she's never been treated the same as others. But this has never stopped her; she has learned sign language, taught it to her family and continues to excel in school.
During our visit in 2017, Amilia really touched our hearts when we saw her eyes light up while hearing the beeping sounds of the audiometer during her hearing test. Through a mixed form of alphabet sign language, she told us that she has only ever heard the sounds of the motorcycles in town. This broke our hearts, as we saw firsthand her struggle to communicate with us, her father and those in her life.
Locals in the region told us that the hard of hearing are often considered completely deaf and labelled as unintelligent. Due to the lack of resources, and limited ability to test hearing in the region, there is little way of determining who has hearing loss and could benefit from hearing aids.
With the hope that we would be able to restore some level of hearing for Amilia, the team eagerly banded together to do the very best we could for her. We all understood that hearing aids could be the difference that would open so many doors that had been shut to her in the past.
When we fit her with the hearing aids, Jon Cheung, Bow River Hearing's Director of Operations recalls, "We spoke to her and for the first time realized she could hear us. We saw a shy little smile emerge from Amilia and, for the first time during our entire journey with her, we heard her speak as she tried to repeat the words ba, ba, ba."
Amilia's story is a constant reminder that we have a responsibility to help not only those in our hometown of Calgary but also those across the world.