Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Walk4Hearing and Team Hannah

Michael and I, and most of all Hannah, would like to thank all of our amazing friends and family who supported us on the fifth annual Walk4Hearing. Our hearts have truly been touched and we are so humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of  kindness and generosity over the past several weeks. Hannah is surely one lucky girl and we know how blessed we are. We raised almost $12,000 for The Children's Hearing Institute and The Hearing Loss Association of America and we were one of the top fundraising teams in the country. The money we raised will be used to help provide the resources and services as well as improve the quality of life for all our friends and community who have a hearing loss.

The day was a beautiful fall day, cool and crisp and thankfully sunny.  Well over a thousand gathered at 101st Street in Riverside Park to march the 3 miles together in solidarity. What is most amazing to us about the day is that in the New York area, there are many places children can receive speech therapy and other services (and Hannah has been to a number of them), so it's great to see all the families come together as one. It gives the chance for the kiddos to see each other and the parents to reconnect after a busy summer.

Personally for Michael and I, it was just amazing to see how much Hannah has grown in the year since we walked with everyone last year. In 2011, when Hannah was only about 4 months old, we were so new to the deaf and hard of hearing community. We heard about the walk about a week prior and went not knowing what to expect. We clung to Laurie Hanin, the director of the Center for Hearing and Communication, who guided us through and showed us all the possibilities Hannah had in her future. We met MJ and his mom Eileen  -- and saw how easily MJ could hear in all the noise. We saw lots  of children with various hearing technologies charging up the path, excited to be part of the walk. This year, we're so proud of how much our little girl has grown. She was just one of the little kids skipping along the walk, enjoying her day in the sun with her friends and family. We ran into her little friends along the way and it was just amazing.

We also talked about how many words Hannah can now say.
Bye Bye
P p p...Please
I waaa...I want
Shhh...Whenever she sees anyone sleeping
BoopBooo...Beep Beep
WoooHooo...Her version of the siren

In addition, Hannah is a little songstress and can hum along to a variety of tunes and even fill in the words at times. The Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, Twinkle Twinkle as well as Hello Hannah will elicit a huge smile followed by some Hannah singing and hand gesturing.

Here are some photos from the day Grandpa took. They do an amazing job capturing the day. Enjoy!

Michael, Hannah, me and Steph along the walk

As if the walk wasn't enough, Hannah played a little pickup hockey 

Hannah and Daddy

Team Hannah

Our girl

Hannah and me

Team Hannah

Give me an H


She didn't like his driving so she's going to push her way through the finish line

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your support and generosity!

Much love,
Jen, Michael and Hannah


  1. It's been quite a journey for Hannah this past year. Everytime I see her she has something new going on, either in her vocabulary development or in her imagination and curiousity.
    Sunday's walk was wonderful. She's is absolutely thriving with the Children's Hearing Institute and with her wonderful therapist Liz.
    Hannah is the most special little girl, who is so lucky to have parents to give her the opportunity to be the best that she could be.
    Hannah always has a special smile on her face and a wave to everyone she sees. For those of you who remember, she's the Mary Tyler Moore of NYC.

  2. Hi Jen and Michael,

    Wanted to tell you how much I loved today's blog. Not because of all my photos but because of what you covered in Hannah's speech development.

    I didn't realize how large her vocabulary has become although I think the second one for "I want", depending on her inflection, is also "all right".

    I think her developing personality is amazing. She's bright, curious and generally unafraid of things. She is an especially happy child which I owe to the two of you.

    She observant and wants to do whatever others are doing. She watches
    everything. She has never been on a scooter yet given the chance she knew exactly how it's supposed to work. Ok, she was on it backwards but she had one foot planted on the board, her other on the ground, knees properly bent and arms poised for balance. How coordinated is that?

    She sings, loves music and even in noisy environments, can follow a single conversation. Something I'm having more and more difficulty doing.

    She's social and loves all people equally. Because of you, she loves and is unafraid around animals.

    She's ambidextrous or at least not right hand dominant yet.

    She has an amazingly long attention span and is so full of curiosity and wonder she can't afford to nap fearing the world will pass her by and she'll miss something.

    She's seen the president more times than most people outside the White House.

    How cool is all that?