By Zina Bronfman, a proud parent


August 2007.

“Your child did not pass the hearing test.”

Our world stopped.

Within hours of being born, our daughter, Pearl, had been diagnosed with moderate to severe bilateral hearing loss.


Not even surgery could help.

We were devastated.

Our shock was soon replaced by anxiety. “Where do we go? What do we do?”

Fear, confusion, anger…

Once the doctors assured us the diagnosis was correct, we realized all these negative emotions were not going to help our daughter. The only way forward was to work with all the right specialists.

Thankfully, the audiologist at LIJ Hospital gave us a name that has since become an inseparable part of our life – Strivright.

So we enrolled, in the faint hope that one day Pearl would start talking like a child without a hearing impairment.



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by Jacqueline Lahav



I was in such a daze as we left the hospital that I barely registered the woman walking a leashed hog right past us on 1st Avenue. “Is that a pig??” my mom asked with disgust, her expression frowned for other reasons that day. I remember my eyes skimming over the animal, noting the hair on its body. “I think it’s a hog,” I answered quietly, mechanically, pushing the stroller up the avenue with my almost three year old son in tow. We continued our walk quietly, unwilling to break our silence until we felt the privacy of the quiet of my car give us permission to speak. “Jackie,” she started, and I started to sob. “He’s healthy, he’s fine,” she said. “Who’s gonna marry him?” I squealed in a child-like voice through my gigantic tears. “You know who’s going to marry him. Someone who will love him for the amazing person he is, someone who isn’t so shallow so as to consider this a problem.”


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