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press release:
Daniel Marshall selected as GOHF 2007 cochlear implant recipient

September 7, 2007:
Top ten Indy racer Tomas Scheckter may be one tough contender on the race course, but off the track he is all heart. On September 15, 2007 at the Collings Foundation Transportation Museum in Stow, Massachusetts. Scheckter of the Vision team, will be the featured special guest and award presenter at the black-tie gala and auction fundraiser entitled “Helping People Hear”. This event is being organized by the Gift of Hearing Foundation (GOHF), a Boston-based non-profit dedicated to the restoration of hearing for the profoundly deaf. Tomas became a board member of the GOHF after the Foundation helped his cousin and team member, Jaki Scheckter, get his second cochlear implant – a device that helps deaf people hear. Tomas was instrumental in helping Jaki as well by encouraging him to get his first cochlear implant, and then by raffling off his own race helmet to raise funds for the second (bilateral) implant.

The highlight of the night will occur when 1-year-old Daniel Marshall, who was identified at birth with profound hearing loss, is presented with a “bionic ear” (or cochlear implant) donation from the GOHF in partnership with US-based cochlear implant manufacturer, Advanced Bionics. The award will be co-presented by Mr. Scheckter and his cousin Jaki. Daniel will be scheduled for surgery in the autumn.

“Advanced Bionics and funds raised at this event provide us with an opportunity to allow one more child to hear his mother say ‘I love you’,” adds Eileen Jones, president and founder of GOHF. “For that we cannot thank our supporters enough.”

Daniel Marshall, 2007 Cochlear Implant recipient

Originally fitted with hearing aids at the age of 4 months, Daniel experienced no significant hearing benefits. Wanting Daniel to hear the world around him, his parents hoped that by availing their son to cochlear implant technology he would hear. Daniel’s journey to sound came to a sudden halt when his parents learned their health insurance provider denied coverage of the device and surgery. Unable to afford the enormous bill that accompanied the device and procedure, they turned to the Let Them Hear Foundation’s Insurance Advocacy Program. Since the earlier a child receives a cochlear implant, the better, and since the legal battle with the Marshall’s health insurance company was proving to be a lengthy one, the Let Them Hear Foundation enlisted the help of the Gift of Hearing Foundation to make it possible for Daniel to receive a cochlear implant in a timely manner.

“When we received the phone call that alerted us that our son was to receive this gift of hearing, we were overjoyed! We are so thrilled that our son will be able to complete his journey to a world filled with sound. He will now know clearly the warmth and love in our voices,” said Kimberly Marshall, Daniel’s mother.

Daniel will join over 100,000 individuals worldwide who currently benefit from cochlear implant technology. Daniel’s cochlear implant will enable him to hear by allowing sound to bypass the damaged parts of his ear to directly stimulate his auditory nerve within the inner ear.

The gala will take place on September 15th, 2007 from 5:30-10:00 pm at The Collings Foundation, in Stow, Massachusetts.

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