Nov 2020 Jacksonville Daily News

Hearing aids and cochlear implants are essentials in the daily life of the Lanier family.

The electronic devices that aid each of them in hearing can also be expensive to maintain. There are cables and pieces that break, processors to update, and lots of batteries to keep in stock.

And for the Onslow County family – John and Melinda Lanier and their two children, Gavin and Tatum – the expense is quadrupled.

Lanier FamilyLanier child“I was born deaf in both ears and grew up with hearing aids. I’ve always been able to hear things, just not able to tell what words are being said by people,” Melinda Lanier said. “My kids were born deaf too and hearing aids wouldn’t work at all for them, so my husband and I decided to let them have the cochlear implant surgery. It’s been amazing for both of them, so amazing that my husband wanted to get cochlear implants himself. He just got his second CI last year.”

Lanier said recent news that they are recipients of grant funds to help with some of the expenses is much appreciated. Travellers Protective Association (TPA) Hearing Trust awarded 24 grants totalling $16,350 for applicants seeking assistance during the third quarter of 2020. 

To date, the Trust has distributed more than $2 million, benefiting more than 5,900 individuals. The quarterly grants can be used to obtain hearing aids, hearing aid maintenance, tutoring, cochlear implant upgrades and other resources such as interpreters, medical services, and service dogs.

Lanier said that with the funding they will purchase new hearing aids to replace her nearly 12-year-old ones, a second CI processor for her son since his backup is obsolete, and new rechargeable batteries for her daughter’s CI. Lanier said she has continued to do well with hearing aids and the upgrades for Gavin, 12, and Tatum, 6, will help ensure they have optimum use of their cochlear implants. “It’s a blessing,” she said

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