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Hearing loss patient discusses why Stanford research gives her hope for an eventual cure

Over on the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss blog, Nat Lauzon, a voiceover artist and radio DJ, shares her personal story of living with hearing loss. Lauzon began having difficulty hearing at the age of 15, but didn't let the condition stop her from forging out a career in industries that rely heavily on hearing. Earlier this year, she read about Stanford researchers identifying a class of cells called tympanic border cells that can give rise to hair cells and the cells that support them during a phase of cochlear maturation right after birth.

The findings inspired her to become a supporter of the Stanford Initiative to Cure Hearing Loss and gave her hope that the research may lead to discoveries that could one day help the millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss due to damaged or impaired sensory hair cells. She writes:

I was amazed, appreciative, inspired.  A cure for hearing loss is a potentiality that is actually within the reach of science! This is huge! I  immediately donated and sent along a note of thanks, explaining my personal situation and why a cure would mean so much to me.  It’s actually how this blog post came to fruition.

For me, a cure would mean the ability to continue my passion in life. To not worry about what’s around the corner for me or what the audiogram will say in another 10 years’ time. But honestly, the bigger picture is just as meaningful to me. To know the lives of millions of people – from babies to toddlers to adults -with profound hearing loss and deafness would be forever changed? I consider that, not only a marvel but a miracle of science.

...

My hope is that I can help be part of a larger picture of optimism and awareness:  not only for hearing health in the radio profession, but also to help tear away the general stigma of hearing loss as merely an “old people” affliction. And, along with that – draw support for the incredible and groundbreaking work that is being done by Stanford to find a cure.

Previously: “What’s that?” Stanford researchers identify cells important to hearing loss, Regenerating sensory hair cells to restore hearing to noise-damaged ears, Stanford researcher comments on the use of human embryonic stem cells to restore hearing and Growing new inner-ear cells: a step toward a cure for deafness
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