When we started LSTN, our goal was to create incredible audio products with purpose built into every purchase. Sound and Purpose
Since launching, we've been able to take 11 missions with our non-profit partner, Starkey Hearing Foundation. We've learned a lot, grown as individuals and as a company, and had priceless experiences worldwide. This week in the Dominican Republic was no different; your purchases helped 1,419 people hear for the first time. April 17:
we landed in Santo Domingo, a city with rich history and the capital of Dominican Republic. Located on the Caribbean Sea at the mouth of the Ozama River, Santo Domingo was the first European settlement in the Americas, dating back to 1492.
We arrived at the site where we met an adorable 5 year-old boy named Royneld Miguel. Like 40% of our patients in Santo Domingo, he was born with little-to-no hearing. Just a few minutes after fitting him with new hearing aids, Royneld was able to hear for the first time
8 year-old Emely, also born with hearing loss, traveled several hours from the opposite side of the country to see us in Santo Domingo.
11 year-old Estefani who regained her hearing after losing it as a toddler to unknown causes.
After a few days, we headed northeast to the city of Santiago where we had another 500 patients waiting to be fit for hearing aids. One of the first people we met was a 19 year-old named Brian. When he was only 1, he received medication that left him blind, physically scarred and nearly completely deaf. At 8, he had surgery performed on his ears but a mistake was made and his right ear was perforated which caused further hearing damage. Growing up, even though he had very limited hearing, he gravitated towards music with thumping noises and started making some of his own.
When my co-founder Joe fit Brian with hearing aids, a huge smile came over his face and Joe asked if he could sing. Brian nodded "yes" and started singing music popular in Dominican Republic called dem-bow, a type of reggaeton. Moments like these are why we do what we do and why we are so grateful for your support of LSTN!
Statistics on Dominican Republic patients:
Causes of hearing loss - Birth, trauma, medication, meningitis, tuberculosis, unknown
Thank you for helping us change lives around the world!
- Bridget & Joe, LSTN Founders