Joan LaMarra, 78, Highland, MI

Joan LaMarra, resident of Highland, Michigan, had her wish for hearing aids granted on June 19th, 2017 thanks to our Michigan chapter and Huron Valley Hearing of Highland. Joan, 78, developed tinnitus after a fall in 1996 that has worsened over the years. As a result, she struggles to hear others, especially in crowded areas and can no longer volunteer as she cannot hear what others are saying. She desperately needed hearing aids, but couldn’t afford them on her own. As a former beauty parlor owner, she volunteered at the Detroit Receiving Hospital in the burn unit, working with patients with scarring and hair loss. In the past, LaMarra has donated her services to “Look Good, Feel Better”, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and self-esteem of cancer treatment patients. Her role was to measure women for wigs and teach patients how to care for them. In addition to this service, LaMarra volunteered for the VFW 1518 Ladies Auxiliary of Gaylord for six years. Thanks to the generosity of Huron Valley Hearing of Highland, MI her wish will come true. Huron Valley Hearing donated refurbished, top-end hearing aids, cleaning tools, batteries, a fitting and three post visit services as well as a TV streaming device and a Bluetooth phone device. In addition; ReSound, the manufacturer of the hearing aids and devices donated an extra year of warranty for each device so they can be serviced by the manufacturer if needed.

Gwen N., 79, Milford, MI

Gwen Niemisto, 79, suffers from hearing loss and, unfortunately, her older hearing aids are no longer working.  Because Medicare no longer covers hearing aids and the deductible is so large, she cannot afford to replace them on her own. Niemisto is very deserving, having been a caregiver for both her mother and her aunt until they passed away. In addition, she was the Membership Chair for the Michigan Button Society for ten years and was the Ad Chair for the National Button Society for four years.

Her wish was granted on Friday, February 17, 2017 during a short ceremony at Alliance Hearing Care’s offices in Waterford.  Alliance Hearing Care donated all their services and new hearing aids to Finnigan. Chapter director Jessica Schluckebier presented Niemisto with a certificate honoring her for all she has done for others throughout her life.

Sylvia F., 73, Clinton Township, MI

Sylvia Finnigan, a resident of Clinton Township, Michigan, recently had her wish for hearing aids granted by the recently-formed Michigan chapter and Hearing Consultants of Sterling Heights. This is the first wish granted by the Michigan chapter.

Finnigan, 73, has hearing loss and, without working hearing aids, experienced many obstacles in daily living. She raised her five children on her own as a single parent. After her youngest child graduated from high school, Finnigan enrolled in college and graduated with a B.A. from Oakland University. She currently works for the Senior Community Service Employment Program and is an active volunteer in her community. Finnigan volunteers with the Kiwanis Club of Mount Clemens, with the Anton Art Center and with the Taste of Troy fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Troy, to name a few. In addition, she was a finalist for the Michigan Governor’s Community Service Award in 1997.

Her wish was granted on Thursday, June 23rd during a short ceremony at Hearing Consultants’ offices in Sterling Heights. Hearing Consultants donated all their services and new hearing aids to Finnigan. In addition, Lake Painting of Midland is sponsoring a two-year supply of hearing aid batteries for her. Chapter director Jessica Schluckebier presented Finnigan with a certificate honoring her for all she has done for others throughout her life.

Photo caption: From left: Michigan Chapter Director, Jessica Schluckebier; wish receipient, Sylvia Finnigan; and Marina Kade, audiologist at Hearing Consultants.