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Lauren and Johannes were surprised when they discovered their brand-new baby daughter could not hear. No one in their family had hearing loss and Lauren says that Rophe was the first person she ever met who was deaf.

Written By: Lisa Chutjian

Lauren and Johannes were surprised when they discovered their brand-new baby daughter could not hear. No one in their family had hearing loss and Lauren says that Rophe was the first person she ever met who was deaf. They began a journey of research and learning on the fast track from their home in Alabama.

Exploring Facebook, Lauren came across a college friend, Paige, who posted a photo of her son who is a few years older than Rophe. It was easy to see that Wallace was a happy child – and that cochlear implants were helping him thrive in his family. The moms renewed their friendship and Paige told Lauren about AG Bell and all that she had learned about implants, speech therapy and audiology sessions. She also shared the story of the financial aid that her family had received from AG Bell that made their journey just a little bit easier.

Johannes and Lauren began learning all they could about hearing loss and about Listening and Spoken Language. They were determined that their daughter should hear and talk, and Lauren made the weekly four-hour drive to ensure Rophe had her therapy and that Lauren could practice with Rophe until her next session.

“We believe that Listening and Spoken Language is a priority for our daughter and these early years are a worthy investment of our time and resources,” said Lauren.

Rophe exceled – just five hours after her implants were activated, she was dancing to music – it brought tears to Lauren’s eyes.

Lauren and Johannes have helped Rophe catch up to her age group – and just in time, because their second daughter, Addy, was also born with hearing loss. And they knew just what to do. Addy loves music – and she finds music in everything, including the hum of the vacuum cleaner. Both girls are thriving in their preschool, speaking new words every day.

You can help more Addys and Rophes with the gift of sound. Your donation to AG Bell helps ensure that boys and girls who are deaf and hard of hearing can live a life without limits. Please make your gift today.

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