The heartbreaking stories about hearing loss came in at a pace that Nichole Sorensen was not expecting.
The doctor of audiology at Lakeside Hearing in Kelowna decided for the first time this year to conduct a contest for a free set of hearing aids as part of May’s Better Hearing and Speech Month. All people had to do was submit a nomination as to why they deserved the hearing aids.
“We had sixty nominations, which far exceeded our expectations,” Sorensen says. “There is a great need out there.”
Since the contest was so popular, Sorensen was able to secure three more sets of hearing aids to give away. So earlier this month Lakeside Hearing awarded four people new hearing aids.
“There were tears,” Sorensen says. “The recipients were so grateful.”
The winners were Laurel Keeting, Laurie Guerin, Kathy Orange and James MacDonald, and each had been nominated by someone close to them who wanted their quality of life to improve through better hearing. Most mentioned the cost of the hearing aids was a prohibitive factor; the four sets of hearing aids Lakeside Hearing gave away through the contest—three from Oticon and one from Signia—were valued at approximately $5,500 each.
“It is often out of reach, and there’s no funding in B.C. for them, which is really unfortunate,” Sorensen says.
Lakeside Hearing is also involved in a hearing foundation called Hear4U that helps people secure hearing devices at more affordable prices, but the technology is not new and there are no warranties associated with the hardware.
Sorensen said the contest was simply a way of Lakeside Hearing giving back to a community that has been so supportive of its business. “It may be part of Better Hearing and Speech Month every year,” she says. “We’ll do it again next year for sure.”
Lakeside Hearing plans to do another campaign in September for those who have trouble with vertigo.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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