The UHealth Ear Institute teams up with the Miami Marlins
By Mikayla Gowaty
Illustration by Dan Bejar
nspired by this summer’s movie Rally Caps, which features a young, baseball-playing character with cochlear implants, the Children’s Hearing Program (CHP) at the UHealth Ear Institute hosted an event at a Miami Marlins game to bring awareness to children’s hearing loss.
The pre-game event included several hearing awareness activities during which guests could meet with CHP staff members and learn about hearing loss and hearing health through interactive games. The 250 children and family members in attendance also got the opportunity to meet the Marlins players, and the first pitch was thrown out by Kylie Guthrie, a 15-year-old softball player who received bilateral cochlear implants in 2017 after suddenly losing her hearing.
“One of the most powerful things for a child is having peer support,” said Ivette Cejas, Ph.D., director of family support services at CHP and associate professor of otolaryngology at the Miller School. “Because of early identification and advanced hearing technology, many of our children and families end up doing so well that they attend mainstream school and rarely get the opportunity to be around other children with hearing loss. An event like this gives them natural interaction.”
Michelle and Matan Ben-Aviv’s son, Sam, 8, is a perfect example: He received speech and auditory therapy and a variety of other services from CHP and now attends mainstream school. In appreciation for the care Sam received, the Ben-Avivs have made a philanthropic gift to ensure that CHP remains accessible to other children with hearing loss. The Ben-Avivs also donated tickets so that those other families could attend the game. If you would like to join the Ben-Avivs in contributing to CHP, please contact Madeleine Lesser Novack at email@example.com or 201-572-8395.