How Bear Essentials helped this dancer hear her melody

In the heart of Victoria, 11-year-old Abi isn’t just a middle schooler and competitive dancer; she’s a young girl grappling with an unexpected adversary — hearing loss.

Her journey began innocently enough, with a bout of cold and flu during Grade 2. Unknown to her family, this marked the onset of a gradual struggle with hearing loss. Despite the challenges, Abi adapted. She excelled in academics and dance, all the while mastering the art of reading lips to compensate for her diminishing hearing.

“Abi is very outgoing and loves to help anybody, whether it’s at home or her friends,” shared Allison, Abi’s mother, describing her daughter’s spirit. “She’s fearless.”

However, the whispers of Abi’s silent struggle grew louder during the summer of 2022. Allison sought answers from medical professionals, eventually discovering that Abi was fully deaf in her left ear.

“I’m so sorry that Abi has had this diagnosis, but it was also a reminder of other challenges families face that are devastating,” Allison remarked, recognizing the broader impact of complex health needs.

When Abi’s audiologist introduced her to a trial hearing aid, it was an emotional moment for the family. During a test, tears welled up as Abi whispered to her mother, “Mum, I can hear you.”

Yet, the financial weight of acquiring a permanent hearing aid loomed large. Allison, navigating the intricacies of healthcare benefits, discovered a beacon of hope — the Bear Essentials program, funded by Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. “I knew that if my benefits didn’t cover it, then I would make it work because this isn’t an option. This is a must have,” Allison shared.

As Abi continues to dance through life with her hearing aid, the family continues to advocate for the program, raising awareness of the challenges she and other families face as they navigate their kids’ health care. Every child deserves a chance to hear their own melody, and Bear Essentials continues to play a crucial role in making that possible.

This program would not be possible without the generous support of our donors. Make a difference for Island kids like Abi and give today: