Thank you for visiting my Children's Champion page. I am excited to run the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon in person this year, and am honored to once again run as a Children's Champion. As you may know, Nationwide Children's Hospital has played a pivotal role in our lives since our awesome daughter Shannon was born.
A day or two after we welcomed Shannon into the world, we were told she failed the newborn hearing screening. The nurses told us it wasn't uncommon, fluid temporarily clogging the ears in most cases, but we would need follow up testing at Children's. Three uncertain and worrisome weeks later, we learned that Shannon was born with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss in both ears, and would need to start wearing hearing aids within a month or two. We were stunned, scared, and had so many questions.
The Audiology team at Children's guided us through every step, and almost 12 years later, I am happy to say that Shannon's hearing loss is something that barely registers as a tiny inconvenience in her life. Early intervention from Children's ensured that she didn't fall behind in speech and language development. Her hearing loss has not limited her from excelling in the gifted program at school (she gets it from her mother), and certainly can't keep her off the softball field, basketball court, or soccer field. Her digital hearing aids even have Bluetooth connectivity so she can listen to music, watch movies, and facetime with her friends whenever she wants.
Shannon is a success story, but we were surprised to learn that most health insurance plans don't cover hearing aids, even for kids. We are fortunate enough to be able to afford what Shannon needs, but for many families the cost of hearing aids becomes a barrier to care. Access to sound, from birth, is absolutely crucial to a child's speech and language development, and the thought that a kid could miss out on that because of the expense is heartbreaking. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is committed to treating all children regardless of their family’s ability to pay, which cannot be achieved without community support and generosity. I am participating in the Marathon for this mission and I am determined to help children from all 50 states and more than 60 countries treated at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Won’t you join me in helping kids everywhere?
Please consider supporting the most meaningful marathon in the country by making a donation today.