MICROTIA AWARENESS DAY
Microtia Awareness Day dedicates November 9th to spreading hope and knowledge concerning a congenital disability, which derives its name from the Latin terms for little ears. Mark the calendar and think of the number 9 as the shape of an ear.
1 in 9,000
Approximately one child in every 9,000 is born with Microtia. Microtia occurs when the ear or ears do not fully develop during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. While Microtia is diagnosed at birth, there is no understanding of why Microtia occurs. Those born with Microtia face hearing loss, facial challenges, and the longing for social acceptance.
For most parents, the day of their child’s birth turns from celebration to concern and uncertainty. Initially, aside from the arrival of their beautiful new baby, they notice the outward signs of the condition – a small, curiously shaped ear or no ear at all. Depending on where these families live, doctors and nurses may be well versed in the condition. They quickly educate and prepare parents, reassuring them. In other regions, however, the condition is rare. Misinformation or lack of information quickly evaporates any remaining sense of celebration that accompanies a birth.
Often when answers aren’t forthcoming, hopes and dreams become overshadowed by unnecessary challenges to a joyous occasion. However, there are options and support! Microtia Awareness Day promotes public awareness. Additionally, the day spreads hope that future generations of families will leave the hospital armed with more answers than questions and their dreams for their child intact.
Don’t Know They’re Different
When children are born, they don’t know they are any different from anyone else. Many with Microtia share similar stories of curious stares, bullying, or awkwardness. Individual personalities, social conditioning, available treatments, and bullying all impact how every child develops and copes as an adult. By removing unnecessary boundaries and replacing them with resources, tools, and support, we can eliminate bullying and clear the way for an even more successful future.
In addition to self-acceptance and loving oneself, advancements in technology improve the lives of those with Microtia. Some of the advancements that help those with microtia include
- hearing aids
- surgical procedures
- bio-ears that create new outer ears
- 3-D printing
But research requires time, trials, and support. Even the untapped potential of 3-D printing is promising!
Those with Microtia are a fantastic community of people. Their stories repeatedly tell that with and without technology, medical procedures, or innovative research, the most significant advancement of all is human support, awareness, and acceptance.
HOW TO OBSERVE #MicrotiaAwarenessDay
While celebrating the day, share your story. Learn more about Microtia and show support for those with the condition.
Use #MicrotiaAwarenessDay to share on social media.
MICROTIA AWARENESS DAY HISTORY
The Ear Community Organization founded Microtia Awareness Day in 2016 and was submitted by the Tumblin family. Melissa Tumblin founded Ear Community in 2010 after stumbling through the hurdles and challenges of finding answers for her daughter when she was born with Microtia. Since then, Ear Community has brought over 6,500 people together from around the world at the organization’s events, making it possible to share experiences and resources.
The community is made up of not only children and adults with Microtia and their families, but teachers, advocates, and medical professionals from around the world who foster awareness and assistance for this fantastic group of people. Board members either have the condition or a family member who does, so they have close personal experience with the obstacles from a myriad of perspectives.
The Registrar at National Day Calendar approved Microtia Awareness Day in October.