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What CHC means to our family

A CHC family shares their personal journey dealing with the challenges of daughter Sonya’s hearing loss. It’s a journey that began more than three years ago – at a time when they didn’t know what the future would be like.

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Dear CHC Friend,

Yan and I learned during pregnancy that our baby had a high risk of hearing loss. We were devastated. As music lovers, we couldn’t imagine a world without sound.

Sonya was born on a sunny Sunday in New York City. She was perfect. With big gray eyes, a tiny nose and perfect mouth. Later, in the hospital, Sonya was taken away for her hearing screening. It was a moment we had been dreading for months. When the nurse let us know that Sonya had not passed, a deep pit of sadness formed in my throat. Tears welled up in my eyes. I tried to act like everything was fine, but as soon as she left, I broke down. It was unlike any kind of sadness I had ever felt.

After further testing, we found out that Sonya really was deaf. I didn’t know what the future would be like for Sonya and that was scary. I would find myself staring at Sonya as I enjoyed a quiet moment of motherhood and would suddenly remember that she was deaf. My mind churning with what ifs. How would she survive in New York City if she can’t hear? She could get hit by a car! Would she ever be able to get a job? How?? Kids will make fun of her; the list ran on and on. I felt like I was drowning.

Thankfully we found the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC).

At CHC, I felt there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I remember meeting the staff at CHC. They were warm and so comforting, telling me and my husband how wonderful Sonya’s future could be. When Sonya was just four months old, she began speech therapy at CHC. At seven months, she had cochlear implant surgery. I’ll never forget the moment a few weeks later when I started to sing and Sonya turned her head toward me and smiled so sweetly. She had heard my voice!

Today, at three years old, Sonya is doing amazing. She is thriving in speech therapy and in her mainstream preschool. She is starting to read, loves to sing and dance and even started to play the piano. Last week, while I was preparing Sonya’s breakfast, she came up to me, hugged my leg and looked up at me sweetly. “I wuv you, Mama!” she said, unsolicited. At that moment, I thought about all of the people at CHC who have helped her say that simple beautiful sentence. I am so thankful to all of them.

Sonya’s experience is not unique. CHC provides services to people of all ages who are deaf and hard of hearing, regardless of their ability to pay. CHC needs your support to make this happen. Please consider what CHC has meant to our family and make a donation today. Your gift will make a difference in the lives of other children like Sonya who will soon be able to make their own music, sing their own songs and tell their own stories.

With many thanks for your generosity and on behalf of our whole family,


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The Center for Hearing and Communication is an accredited non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.


We are professionals, family, friends, and advocates improving life with hearing loss.