Category: Starkey

Meeting Your Tribe

Couple weeks ago was the Annual Say What Club Convention.  This yes is an annual event but it is my first time attending.  I should back up, The Say What Club is an online group where everyone has a hearing loss or their life is affected by hearing loss by a spouse or a close family member.  I have been a member for 6 years maybe?

A couple years ago there was an email to try and pitch and sell us your city and we will hold the 2018 convention there.  I wrote a proposal for St Paul.  Now Benson is where I live now but we don’t have an airport, heck we don’t have a Wal-mart for 40 miles.  St Paul had everything we needed and it was right next door to my hometown so easy access to family (watching our kids).  This past year has been busy, stressful, exciting and a growing experience helping plan a convention for people coming from all over the USA.

Attending an event like this was really, really hard for me.  I knew a couple of these people in person.  A large amount of them I knew from Facebook and email.  That didn’t help the fact I have social anxiety and I thank God that Chad was willing to come with me.  Be my anchor, be the one that I could go back to if need be.  First meeting was a meeting where we assembled bags to give to each person and talk about the convention, loose ends and such.  It was great.  I left that meeting with a huge smile.  This is what we planned a year for.  This was my tribe.  They understand hearing loss because they live with it everyday.  It is amazing the ease of a meeting when some listen, some lip read, and combinations in between.  The next day we met and a group of us walked to Tin Whiskers.  It is a small brewery that was just a couple blocks from our hotel.  Chad and I have always enjoyed a brewery tour and have done many through our years together.  I am not a beer drinker but enjoy it.  It was a fun outing that was an easy way to meet some people, talk one on one with some people and meet some new people.

Wednesday night our welcome party. We had a theme as every good party should have, a speakeasy, a roaring 20’s, a Great Gatsby theme. It was fun. We had feathers in our hair, pearls, some had long gloves a few men donned a fedora. We had welcome prizes, MN themed food. We had cheese curds, deviled eggs, wild rice sliders. Something for everyone. It was a time to meet lots of people. A time to meet wonderful friends who you have felt you knew for years but meeting in person for the very first time.

After this welcome party I knew I was hooked. Everyone was just so nice. It really was like meeting long lost family. Thursday was a great day, they were all great days. A dynamic speaker, visiting with the vendors and putting our bids on the silent auction items. Our last workshop of the morning was visiting Starkey Labs and getting a tour. Once our bus got to the CORRECT hotel we were off. A little late but you just role with it. We had a great tour, a lunch we ate in the bus since our bus was late to start with and then a tour of St Paul.

Friday- what a fun day. We had great workshops from clear speech to an artist, which I found fascinating. To the last workshop of the morning and that was mine. My workshop was titled, “Designed to Stand Out” I talked a little about my idea showed some pictures of examples and then let creativity take over. I had been gathering supplies for near a year. I had jewels, washi tape, nail wraps and tube wraps. It was fun.

Friday afternoon was a St Paul Gangster Tour. I think this was a highlight for Chad. We toured all over St Paul and saw so many sights.

House was home to the famous Ma Barker and the Barker Gang

This is the South St Paul post office the Barker Gang held up for the cash that came for paydays.

John Dillinger lived here and had a shoot out with the FBI in the stairwell. I wonder if current residents know the story.

At Swede Hallow Hearing the story of the Hamm kidnapping.

We even passed where F Scott Fitzgerald lived and wrote his first novel.

It had been a very full day but we weren’t done. We went to the St Paul Saints game. My parents joined us and brought the kids. That was fun and special. To bad the weather had to interrupt.

Saturday was the end. We had a banquet and keynote speaker. There were lots of hugs and pictures taken. Greta joined us for this last event. I wish the night never ended.

If you read through this whole blog- bless you. I really just wanted to stress the importance of finding your tribe. Find people that can understand, they get it. I got back to my moms on Saturday night and I just cried. I couldn’t stop myself. I wish I could live around all these people all the time. Chad and I agree this was just a fun week, one we will never forget.

*I need to give a shout out to Andre Binns who took fabulous pictures throughout the convention. Many of them are featured in this blog.

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2 Years Later

This weekend I was going through boxes and unpacking and weeding out.  So many memories were found. Old pictures from my youth. Letters from my time in college in New Mexico. In one box was pictures and such that have been on my walls.  I needed to find a perfect place for my Hearstrong Award.

It is hung in my bedroom, and I still have such a great pride receiving this award. When I looked at the framed certificate and the medal it dawned on me, two years have past from that very special day. It still seems like a dream. I think this day has opened up so many doors and in my life. From volunteering to the feeling of openness if people ask about my hearing loss or hearing loss in general. I want to be an advocate, I want people to be proactive. There is nothing that should be hidden with hearing loss. One thing I have learned is meetings up with people that have similar life paths makes your path that much more beautiful. I learned to laugh in a dark bar using a cell phone light so people could lip read. I learned finding your tribe is so important. This simple day in June 2 years ago really changed my life. It gave me confidence, it gave my life some purpose. The day gave my daughter dreams of the future. Future occupations and paths she may want to follow.

A few things from my original post have changed.

I now have Starkey 3 series. Very similar but there is a T coil and a couple more programs added. I enjoy making them unique and changing the look.


 I have attached the original post from Two years ago. Hard to believe it has been that long already. 
On June 10, 2014 I was invited to attend a ceremony at Starkey World Headquarters in Eden Prairie, MN.  I traveled the near 3 hours to the headquarters,  I was full of nerves, and excitement since …

Source: Waiting to Wake Up from a Dream

Writing with my daughter

Last summer, State Fair time, Greta and I were asked to write a blog piece about mothers and daughters and hearing loss. After some thought we got something written and gave it to Starkey. We were told it would be released near Mothers Day. It was published last week. I am so proud of Greta for taking this on with me. I have attached our blog piece. 

Starkey Hearing Blog

A Mother-Daughter Hearing Journey

In honor of Mother’s Day, we asked Starkey Halo wearer Sara Lundquist and her daughter Greta to talk about how their relationship has helped influence Sara’s hearing journey. Greta, who is passionate about hearing health and Starkey, is her mom’s advocate, and Sara is proud to see Greta take such a passionate interest in hearing health and the philanthropic initiatives of Starkey Hearing Foundation. This is a special Mother’s Day post celebrating how a unique mother-daughter bond helped one mother achieve better hearing.
There is a special bond between a mother and daughter. Your daughter is like a mini version of you. You want to teach them and mold them in the ways of the world. One thing I want to instill in both of my children is empathy for others. I want them to understand that not everyone is the same, and that is ok.  
My kids know I have a hearing loss. It is measured as a moderate severe loss. As a child, I had chronic ear infections and PE tubes which led to a mild hearing loss that has continued to worsen over the years. My kids know to face me and repeat what they said if needed. And a few years ago, my daughter got an inside look into my hearing loss and it changed her, for the better.  
A couple years ago I was given the Hearstrong award for being an advocate on being proactive about hearing loss and treating my hearing loss. I was given the award at Starkey’s worldwide headquarters in Eden Prairie Minnesota. I had no idea what to expect on this day. My daughter and a friend accompanied me to the ceremony. What followed the ceremony is what lit a spark in my daughter’s eye and a flame in her heart.   
We were taken to the Center of Excellence where I was given a hearing test. I didn’t know any of this was going to happen. The wonderful part of going through the routine hearing test was having my daughter was with me. She was right there when I was told that new hearing aids would be given to me. There were tears of gratitude and also a very raw feeling of gratitude since I knew the hearing aids I had weren’t up to the job of accommodating my hearing loss. It had taken me a long time to talk about my hearing loss, and even today, I am still working on being open about it. It is not something to be ashamed of but to have people watching me and being the center of attention about this topic made me feel very vulnerable .
Part of my intimate private life was on display. Every parent feels at some point or another that they need to hide the unhappiness of the world from their children, to hide the facts that not everything is perfect. But, that day my daughter not only saw that my hearing is far from perfect but she also saw what a wonderful giving heart Starkey possesses. She learned that we don’t shy away from these kinds of issues but tackle them head on and that it’s important to spread awareness of hearing loss and using hearing technology.  
Greta got to see how impressions are made. She was able to follow my impressions and see how two sets of earmolds are made for each person. She saw how impressions are molded and polished. She saw how hearing aids were picked for an individual and how they are fitted. She was with me when my new hearing aids were ready and turned on for the first time. She saw my facial expression, one of amazement that I could hear her and everything around me so well. She saw the positive change my new hearing aids created. 
And my Starkey experience didn’t stop there. I was able to try out SurfLink assistive listening technology. Sitting and watching a show with my kids and hoping the captions are correct is usually the norm but to hear the show directly streaming in my hearing aids was another thing altogether. Starkey opened my eyes that day. What they do there is amazing and it is now on my daughter’s top places to work when she is an adult.   
Greta writes:
That day when I went to Starkey with my mom opened my eyes to new possibilities for my life and goals I set for when I grow older. While my mom was getting her hearing aids I got to do some amazing things. I got to see where they were made and how they were made. I was able to interview and talk with Tani Austin. She soon became one of my role models. I watched Operation Change and would love to help on a mission and be able to see people’s reactions like I saw on my mom’s face. I was able to talk to some of the employees and they gave me a couple impressions. On my way home I couldn’t stop talking about the experience. I had to do something with the passion I felt. I have decided to channel this passion into my 4H projects. This past summer I got a grand champion and was able to go to the Minnesota State Fair and present my project on hearing aids. I love to try and educate people on this subject. A blue ribbon and memories that will stay with me always. 
The pride in a mother’s heart can burst to the point of bringing forth tears of happiness. This has happened many times with my daughter. Seeing her step into that role of advocate and educator makes me so proud. My mother’s instinct tells me this girl could go places in her life. Thanks to Starkey for lighting that small flame which grows with time and age.