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My stars have aligned...

posted Aug 5, 2013, 12:38 PM by Manny Wilke   [ updated Aug 5, 2013, 12:40 PM ]
In all my spare time (lol) of juggling 3 kids (make that 4 - Nate), working full time with my hotel management company, and coordinating continual California ear surgeries ~ although I think we are done for now ~ I started helping other parents navigate through the same microtia ear reconstruction process with Manny's ear surgeon, Dr. Lewin, as her Microtia Patient Liaison. Yes, I have a title. An official one. As you know, Dr. Lewin and I became fast friends through this process and we thought it would be fun to work together. And, it really is fun. And rewarding. I respect her so much on both a personal and professional level. She is an incredible person and would give ANYTHING for "her" microtia children.

In this position I answer parents questions about the surgery process and about microtia in general. Let's face it. I know my sh#t. Been there. Done that. Lived it. Live it. Every day. Every situation we have experienced and conquered one way or another. There really isn't a question I can't answer or find the answer.
I've been helping other parents basically since Manny was born (through the WI Hearing Aid and Cochlear Implant Bill as a Lead Parent Advocate, through Cochlear Americas as a Bone Anchored Hearing Aid Parent Volunteer, through Ear Community as a Board of Director, and just as a microtia parent in general) but this just a little more official.

I am also helping plan her Earicles 1st Annual Los Angeles Microtia Atresia Conference (LAMAC) at the beautiful Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California this upcoming weekend. So, Manny, my mom and I fly out on Wednesday to California for this ridiculously fabulous event! It will be a lot of work and a lot of fun. Manny will get to meet 100+ kids with no ears, little ears, new ears and hearing aids just like him from all over the world while parents learn about ear reconstruction surgery process. It is sometimes a lonely world, not only for Manny but for me, so it will be great to be surrounded by families in our "cool club." I will also get to finally meet in person some awesome moms with whom I've connected with along the way. Best part - we are headed to California for something besides surgery, a concept that still confuses Manny, and will be able to see Uncle Derek and Aunt Ashley. There will be no ear cups, no pain meds, no physical restrictions....but there will still be wine. That part never changes.

I feel like my stars have aligned.