My name is Bogdan Stanciu. I am running the „Gift of Sound”, a Romanian NGO dedicated to hard-of-hearing persons.
Allow me to introduce Sofia to you. She is my daughter, she is 9.5 y.o. and she is hard of hearing.
Her diagnostics, since 1 y.o., is „sensorineural bilateral profound hearing loss”.
Her audiogram (the graph that illustrates someone’s capacity to hear) indicate between 90 to 100 dB (decibels) as a maximum limit up to which her ears „work”.
„Work” means, in her case, she can hear planes flying above her head and jackhammers breaking concrete. Pretty tough for a young delicate girl, right?
Take a look to one of Sofia’s audiograms…
And below, the loudness of various sounds we encounter on a daily basis:
More plainly said, Sofia is deaf.
The story of the Implant
When she was 2 y.o., based on our personal important financial efforts, we acquired a cochlear implant, the only hearing rehabilitation for people with severe hearing loss.
Although the Romanian state should have covered the cost of such a device, we paid 23,500 EUR for it out of our own money! We wanted to act as soon as possible for Sofia’s benefit, not accepting to wait for a „future” about which we had no control whatsoever and which would have brought us an inferior model, with inferior capabilities.
But this is not so important (anymore): the main thing ist that, when Sofia was 2.2 year old, her implant was connected to the battery’s electrical signals and, ever since, our family has welcomed a „mini-cyborg”. Pretty much like in Asimov’s books! Although – I can assure you! – she has enough personality without any additional software.
Years have passed ever since, Sofia has grown, her implant is working and is helping a lot, thank God for that! Sofia can hear now the ususal conversational frequencies, and is following a program of speech therapy adjusted to children with cochlear implants. More than that, she has access to „soft” sounds such as whispers or tiny objects falling on the floor! This would have been impossible to even imagine without the implant. You can surely understand our joy when seeing on a daily basis how this device is giving her the chance to a normal life!
However, as both her surgical intervention and her device were provided almost 8 years ago, we have a new problem: the sound processor – the external part of the device – needs to be changed.
The warranty offered by the producer has expired at the end of the 3rd year of use. After that, the device had issues requiring repairs every year. As if it „knew” the warranty period was over!
As you can imagine, repairs are not for free. On the contrary! And unfortunately, the sound processor can become completely broken anytime…
Besides, just as any other computer, the sound processor Sofia is wearing is outdated: the producer just launched a sound processor 2 generations apart from the one Sofia has, with enhanced performances, smaller, more reliable and with lower energy intake.
Me and my wife, we both want Sofia to have a new „ear”. This will mean to her a better quality of the hearing experience, a precise monitoring of the influence brought by the environment and daily interactions to her progress and thus, an easier recovery. And to us, maybe less stress and a better sleep.
Unfortunately, the same medical system I was mentioning earlier still presents an „abnormal” appendix: a deaf child can receive from the State a complete cochlear implant (outer and inners part), but not a sound processor on its own, in case the old one breaks or gets obsolete.
Yes, we know, it is not a life-and-death case. Compared to the misfortunes and difficulties other families go through (kids with cancer, or having all sorts of medical emergencies and malformations, Sofia’s problems seems „easy to handle”. But it is not. At least for Sofia, it surely isn’t.
We need your help
Sofia is a child with special needs and a special life. She had surgery at 2 y.o. She has an „Advanced” disability degree. When other children play or rest, she goes to therapy. Continuously, for the last 7 years.
So here is the Goal of our campaign: collecting 10,000 EUR for our daughter to be able to keep enjoying the gift of sound.
If you empathize with Sofia and her fight with life’s challenges, please make a donation. There is no minimum amount required. Any contribution is most welcome.
1. If you own a debit or credit card, you may donate using PayPal: either by pressing the below button…
… or using Bogdan’s address paypal.me/noptialbe.
2. If you prefer, you may order a bank wire transfer to:
- EUR – RO26 RZBR 0000 0600 1975 6691
- RON – RO07 RZBR 0000 0600 1482 5359
Open at Raiffeisen Bank București, holder: „Asociatia Darul Sunetului” (the ‘Gift of Sound’ charity); Fiscal code 29534732; SWIFT code: RZBRROBU. Add as details „for Sofia”…
You can also contact us at +40 722 190 685 (Bogdan) – or Diana at +40 723 63 9999.
Each of the donors / sponsors can receive a printed photograph from Sofia, out of the photos she has taken by herself. I haven’t mentioned so far, but she seems to become passionate about photography…
… or even a copy of one of her paintings: