Dear Sophie: Gabe
Hi! My name is Gabe, I’m 11-years-old in 6th grade. I live in New York with my amazing parents and dog named Bear.
When I was 5-years-old, my pediatrician found a cholesteatoma in my right ear, an extra skin growth that can grow and destroy the bones in the middle ear. I had surgery to remove it, and a year later, I had another surgery to put a titanium implant in my ear. It replaced two of my three middle ear bones. I use a Phonak CROS® hearing aid and an FM system in school. My speech-language pathologist, Fara Augustover from Island Wide Speech, helps me learn to listen, troubleshoot my hearing aid, and talk to people about my hearing loss.
My special talent is art. I love that it helps me focus and keeps me calm. In art class at Long Island Art Academy, I used charcoal pencils to draw a picture of Noivern, a Pokemon® character who has big ears that use sound waves to hear in battle. That made me think of my hearing aid that amplifies sound waves to help me hear. I even added hearing aids to my drawing of Noivern to make it more like me.
Even though I’ve had 3 surgeries, I never let it get me down. I always remember that it all happened to help me hear. It has made me a stronger person and a more understanding friend. I hope other kids read my story and learn to never give up.
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