This upgraded equipment will provide Landis with additional flexibility during his ride, which he starts April 3, and will also improve his hearing and speech.
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides sound to a person with significant hearing loss. Cochlear implants are the only medical technology able to functionally restore one of the five senses. Many cochlear implant recipients regain more than 50% of their hearing. The equipment consists of an internal component, the implant, as well as an external component, the sound processor. Landis received his Advanced Bionics (AB) cochlear implant 13 years ago. His AB sound processor is an early model worn off the ear on his belt connected by a cable to a headpiece that communicates to the implant via a radio wave. Since then, AB has introduced behind-the-ear (BTE) processors. These processors can be worn directly on the ear, much like a traditional hearing aid. Landis’
Landis contacted the Gift of Hearing Foundation (a charity that provides financial assistance to people who qualify for cochlear implant surgery) to discuss his plan for Jacob’s Ride, his cycling fundraiser with a goal of raising $1 million for those with hearing loss.
Gift of Hearing Foundation Executive Director Eileen Jones explained, “When I met Jacob in January and discovered he could not afford to upgrade to the newer model, I reached out to Michelle Tjelmeland at the CIAF, who has worked with us at the Gift of Hearing Foundation on several occasions to help us find BTE processors for people. She has never let us down! She luckily had a Harmony™ BTE device that was exactly what Jacob needed and she shipped it in time for his appointment at Johns Hopkins. She not only sent the BTE, but some additional supplies, like batteries and replacement headpieces, totaling about $10,000 in value. Now not only is Jacob hearing better with his new equipment, he now has the flexibility to choose which model processor fits best in his situation along the ride.”
Landis noticed an immediate difference in his hearing after his new processor was hooked up on March 5 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Landis said, “When they activated the Harmony™ BTE, I immediately thought that things were a bit better, which is extraordinary when what you’re used to is considered almost ‘normal’. It helped to strengthen my resolve to complete this ride. Such a small device can make a huge difference, and we can make this happen one hundred times over.”
CIAF founder Michelle Tjelmeland, who is also a cochlear implant recipient, said she considers this donation as an investment in the hearing-loss community as a whole. “Jacob embodies the spirit of CIAF and our mission to help others hear,” said Tjelmeland. “He’s about to do great things for those who experience hearing loss, and I know I will be cheering him on every step of the way.”
About CIAF: The Cochlear Implant Awareness Foundation is a 501c3 organization that connects people with the information and resources they need to make an educated decision about cochlear implant awareness surgery, and offer guidance and support to recipients. CIAF does not provide financial assistance for the surgery. For more information, visit ciafonline.org
Jacob’s Ride: http://www.jacobsride.com
Gift of Hearing Foundation: www.giftofhearingfoundation.org