Imagine not knowing the sound of running water!

Imagine not knowing the sound of running water!

 Today when you walk outside you will likely hear the sound of cars or the sound of people passing by or the sound of the door closing behind you. These are all sounds that you hear and don’t even realize it. But sadly for many people if they heard these sounds they wouldn’t recognize them.  To them these sounds are not real.

My entire life I suffered from hearing loss in both of my ears.  I tried for years to wear hearing aids, but  never had much luck with them.  When  they weren’t falling out they were causing a distracting beeping noise that you could hear across the room. School was difficult because I heard about 50% of what teachers said and understood about 20% of that.  Hearing became a struggle in many aspects of my life. By the time I was three years old I learned how to read peoples lips.  This is a skill that I relied heavily on for the majority of my life.

I had surgery on my right ear when I was 10 years old in hopes of improving my hearing. Sadly the surgery was unsuccessful and the recovery was anything but smooth. Imgaine having a tooth ache and an ear infection that won’t go away and that it is what it felt like.  I was extremely disappointed but did not given up hope that someday something would work.

In 2004 when I was 19 years old, the time had finally arrived.  My doctor surgically placed a tiny screw into my skull behind my right ear.  Three months later I attached a small device called a BAHA to the screw. The BAHA can be easily removed and works for both ears. With the BAHA I have near perfect hearing.

Dad went with me to the Doctors office and he nearly cried when we both realized that the new procedure had worked.  It was one of the most amazing days of my life. I will never forget the feeling I had the first time I actually heard what running water sounded like, or the sound of footsteps and the sound of birds chirping.  I didn’t realize how bad my hearing loss was until I could hear everything.

There are nearly 250 million people world wide who suffer from some form of deafness. Unfortunately there is no cure for deafness. The EXCITING NEWS is that recently scientist have begun research using stem cells to cure deafness.  This research is in the very early stages but has been showing very promising signs!

Just thinking about all of the miracles stem cells can provide gives me chills.  The richest form of stem cells can be found in a babies umbilical cord blood.  There is no reason why people shouldn’t save the cord blood. It is discarded as medical waste and is NOT in any way harmful to the mother or child. By saving it you could be saving a life or giving someone a chance to see or hear.

Next time you hear the sound of a loved ones voice saying “I love you” or you hear your favorite song on the radio, imagine what it would feel like to not hear it.

PLEASE HELP ME spread the word about the importance of cord blood preservation!! You CAN HELP by tweeting on twitter, updating your status on facebook and telling everyone you know!

Together We CAN Help save lives,

Natalie Curry

Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterbri/367973928/