Today was an extra special day for us, definitely one of the highlights of my year.
Let me tell you why.
|Rachel and Ava|
A few years ago, while in the midst of shedding tears trying to get my hands on ANYTHING I could find out about deafness and cochlear implants for Ava, who had just been diagnosed as profoundly deaf, I came across this amazing blog "Cochlearimplantonline.com". The creator of that blog, is Rachel Chaikof. Rachel is a young woman who is deaf and has bilateral cochlear implants. She was implanted at the age of 3 in 1989 and was one of the first children to be implanted in the U.S. Rachel is a success story. She excelled in school, mastered the french language, received numerous academic awards, became a poster child for Better Hearing and Speech Month, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Savannah College of Art and Design and works as Community Engagement Manager for a company that provides an on-line platform for corporations managing community involvement. You can read more about Rachel's accomplishments here.
Today, we were super excited because we got to meet Rachel in person. My husband and I were in awe of her. She is the whole package - intelligent, articulate and beautiful. My husband got to talk about US politics with her and I got to talk to her about FM systems, her experiences as a college student living in residence and learn things about the functions on Ava's processors that will come in handy when she is older.
And Ava, went to bed tonight, excitedly chatting about her afternoon with Rachel "who has CI's like me Mommy!"
Rachel, thank you from the bottom of our heart, for doing what you do. For reaching out to the 70,000 people per month who read your blog, a place where one can learn all he or she needs to know about hearing loss and cochlear implants. For your tireless efforts to spread awareness about hearing loss. And especially for taking the time to meet Ava. There really is no better role model, than you!