Monday, November 11, 2013

KCAT CAN: Hearing Christmas bells in November

Hearing Christmas bells in November

It’s still 44 days before Christmas but my sister’s friend and co-audiologist Myra Capistrano rang the Christmas bells early for 60 children with hearing impairment.

With the help of her family, friends and the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in U.K., they gave the kids the gift of hearing through hearing aids.

Miss Myra and her friend Rose de Leon, a mother of child with hearing impairment who is based in the UK, came up with the idea of a Christmas outreach for kids with the same disability. Ideas kept coming in and they were so eager to make it happen even though they couldn’t give anything else aside from the time, faith and love.

Miss Myra tried her luck and emailed the Foundation to seek help from them. She told them that although she works as an audiologist for a private company in the Philippines, she wanted to hold a charity event and reach out to children with hearing impairment who could not afford to buy a hearing aid. Amazingly, the company agreed to donate a couple of behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids for the kids. To make her son Enzo’s second birthday more meaningful, Ma’am Rose threw a party at Jollibee and invited the kids who will be receiving the gift of hearing.

The birthday party turned out to be a gift-giving affair, an outreach project, and a medical mission. With Miss Myra and Ma’am Rose’ efforts and perseverance, they were able to provide not only hearing aids, but also lootbags. They also gave batteries and ear molds to the children. An ear mold is a piece of soft material molded to precisely fit in the ear and to deliver the sound from a BTE hearing aid. Unfortunately, they can’t provide all the kids with a free ear mold but Manila Hearing Aid Company (MHAC) was generous enough to give their ear molds at a discounted price.

The children who received the hearing aids are patients from PGH and MHAC. There were even families who came from the provinces of La Union, Pampanga and Quezon. The Rotary Club of Candelaria Circle headed by Neri Luistro provided transportation to those from Quezon including the seven kids from Candelaria Elementary School and their teacher Mylene Cosico.

Happiness was all over the place. Even before the event started, I could already feel the excitement of the kids and their families. You can see the joy and appreciation of the guardians and parents as their children were called to receive their gifts. The kids were all in glee while digging up their lootbags for some goodies. Everyone went home with a grateful heart. Indeed, the spirit of Christmas was already present on that day.

“Thank God for this different level of happiness I’m feeling. I hope volunteers are feeling it too,” says Miss Myra.

It was very tiring for the volunteers who were there but knowing that the kids will be able to hear the sound of Christmas this year, it was all worth it

Thanks to the Life Lifters Transport Inc., Talitha and I were able to get to Jollibee West Ave. in Quezon City where the event was held without troubling anyone for a ride. We didn’t have to worry about being late because of the long wait for an empty taxi. The company is the first transportation rental service that offers a van equipped with a hydraulic wheelchair lift. All I ever did was sit comfortably on my wheelchair from the time we left the house until we reached the venue. The best part about Life Lifters is that it’s an advocacy-driven company that supports the God is Able International Foundation, Inc., an NGO that works with Christian churches who serve PWDs.


Once again, my GYA (Green Years Apartment) friends and I will be holding our annual Christmas celebration for kids in our place on Dec. 24. It has been our goal to share the happiness and experience we ourselves felt when we were young. It is also our way of setting a good example and instilling in them the true essence of sharing.

In behalf of my GYA friends, I am seeking your support to help make this event more meaningful – the GYA way. Any form of donation, whether in cash or in kind, will definitely be enough to put a smile on the kids once again. You can reach me at 0906-3360757.

Sharing is not limited to those who are blessed with material things. As long as we have tons of love and happiness in our hearts, we’ll have something to share.

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