We are proud to announce that our founder, Dr. Ronna Fisher, has been selected by Highland Park’s Chamber of Commerce as one of this year’s “Heart-Led Leaders.” The Chamber honors Highland Park business and community leaders for “building communal values and taking time to kindle a collective optimism in the lives of their neighbors.”
Full story appears in the Highland Park Chamber of Commerce 2018 Community Guide.
Newscaster Walter Jacobson interviews our founder, Dr. Ronna Fisher.
By Hilary Decent, January 2018 Naperville Magazine
Tell me again you love me, Momma, I can hear you now.” The simple phrase from a seven-year-old boy who had lost his hearing after recovering from brain cancer meant everything to Dr. Ronna Fisher.
“It was one of the most gratifying moments of my life. Everyone in the room was crying,” she recalls. “I knew then I had found the purpose for my foundation; these children with brain cancer have a need no one is filling.”
Fisher started her Fisher Foundation for Hearing Health Care nonprofit in 2005; it provides hearing aids to anyone who cannot afford them, as the costs are not usually covered.
Click here to read the full article
Zion is the middle child of Lovetta Spencer. Both his sister Nia, a college freshman, and his 13-year-old brother Joshua were born with severe hearing loss and both wear hearing aids. Zion’s hearing was fine though, and at 17 he was a budding high school basketball star when he suffered a sprained ankle that wouldn’t get better month after month. After 9 months of tests and biopsies, the family got the news they dreaded. Zion had bone cancer and would have to lose his lower leg. By a prophetic coincidence, the Spencer children were patients at Hearing Health Center and were with Lovetta at an appointment with their audiologist, Dr. Jaclyn Riel, when they heard Zion’s diagnosis.
Following the surgery, Zion suffered through massive doses of radiation and chemotherapy which permanently destroyed his hearing, as well. He went home from Rush Hospital in a wheelchair, depressed, debilitated with pain, and unable to communicate with his friends and family.
Hearing aids, the only option for Zion’s hearing, were out of the question. The Spencers were wiped out financially. Mounting medical bills and the crushing cost of treatment rendered them monetarily devastated.
That’s when a social worker at Rush Hospital told Lovetta about the hospital’s recent partnership with the Fisher Foundation for Hearing Health Care, and how we help children who lose their hearing from cancer treatment. We could help Zion and he, too, would come under the compassionate, expert care of Dr. Riel at Hearing Health Center.
Lovetta started sobbing. “I can’t believe this path is taking us back to her,” she cried. “They’ve been there since the beginning when we found out about Zion’s diagnosis. They were there with the kids and me when we learned about his leg. This journey is coming full circle.”
Zion was worried about getting hearing aids. He was a senior in high school with a missing leg and did not want anything else to make him stand out.
Dr. Gail Elden, a psychologist, Hearing Health Center patient, and supporter of the Fisher Foundation, donated two brand new custom-designed hearing aids to the Foundation. They are powerful, fit perfectly, and best of all, according to Zion, they are invisible.
Just after Thanksgiving we informed Dr. Elden about Zion, the recipient of her hearing aids. She was so choked up she could barely speak. Finally, she said, “Now that, is really something to be thankful for.”
Blue skies, puffy clouds and ideal late summer temperatures welcomed the 2016 Fisher Foundation Hike 4 Better Hearing. Held at Highland Park’s Larry Fink Park Saturday morning September 27, the third annual event drew more than 100 attendees, with over half participating in the 5K walk-run. With the help of a long list of generous sponsors, over $20,000 was raised for the Foundation’s charity activities, which was more than was collected for previous hikes. The Fisher Foundation for Hearing Health Care helped 6 patients in the last year and expects to help more in the coming year, in addition to its goal of raising awareness for hearing health care. This year’s Hike also featured the first-ever Technology Showcase put on by the five major hearing aid manufacturers, Siemens/Signa, Phonak, Starkey, Oticon, and Widex. Consumers on hand were given a never-before-offered opportunity to experience all the most advanced hearing aid technology in one place, at one time.
The Foundation was also joined by a few very special guests: young Brannon Moran, his sister, and his mother. Brannon recently received chemotherapy for a brain tumor, which left him unable to hear. After hearing Brannon’s story, the Fisher Foundation provided him a set of free state-of-the-art hearing aids. The crowd at the Hike was lucky enough to see him run and play, and even got the chance to hear Brannon’s mom speak about their experience.