While my parents certainly guided my path in life by giving me the best of the best opportunities, including having the ability to hear and to speak, there is one particular special person who has given me a journey that I couldn’t have asked for more. From the age of four years old until I was about ten years old, I saw her every week for an hour where she fed language into my ear. Every week, she made sure that I was on track to become an independent hearing and speaking person today. She was my AV therapist - Mary Ann.
Not only was she my incredible therapist, but also a great family-friend. She celebrated every great milestone with me as I grew up. She came to my 7th birthday party and my bat mitzvah. She also attended my Georgia state technology fair where my website, Cochlear Implant Online, was awarded first place, and it was located two hours from where we live! She came to my high school film festival to celebrate the premier of my documentary film which was awarded best documentary and best overall film. She sat with my family at my high school graduation and watched me receive my diploma and my school’s Faculty Cup award.
For more than 25 years, she changed the course of life for numerous deaf children like me and my sister. She recently retired and many of her former clients came to her retirement party last night to thank her once again for giving us the best of the best life that we could have. Her seeing all of her former clients once again was beyond priceless as she was able see that they are happy and successful hearing and speaking people today.
I created a tribute film thanks to all the parents and clients who contributed their gratitude through the medium of film, photos, and quotes. I hope to upload the film onto this site soon, but I need to obtain permission from parents to ensure that it’s OK for their kids to be on the site.