Helping children to reach their full potential.

Michael ‘aims higher’ as he runs for success

We love it when our alumni share their success stories which is why we were thrilled to hear from Michael who lives at Cecil Plains in the Darling Downs. Michael received cochlear implants at age four and was a regular at both the Toowoomba and Brisbane Centres for many years – including just recently when he attended our Comet social skills program at our Toowoomba Centre. Michael asked if we would share his story so that other children with hearing loss will know what is possible to achieve.

Michael discovered the joy of running, and also found he was pretty good at it too. He was selected to join the Darling Downs athletics team to go to Queensland School Sport 10-19 years Cross Country State Championships. Michael raced in the 2 kilometre Multi Class run and came 5th which qualified him for the Nationals which will be held later this month at the Sunshine Coast.

Over the years Michael and his family have received fantastic community and school support including most recently his Math’s teacher, a ‘muso’ in his spare time, approaching some of his musician friends to help raise funds to assist Michael to go to the Nationals. A country and western music afternoon was held in early August at the Cecil Plains Hotel raising $1,300 toward the levy, uniform, accommodation and travel costs. Michael and his family were overwhelmed, and very grateful by the love, support and generosity shown to Michael.

On 13 September father Rob and the children, including Michael, will present the ‘Elissa Flanagan Aim High Award’ at the Queensland Disability Awards night which is being held in Toowoomba. This award which is sponsored by Carers Australia, was introduced in 2016 following the tragic passing of Michael’s mother, Elissa, in a car accident on the way home from the 2015 awards. It has been the family’s great honour to attend the awards each year in memory of their mother.

On behalf of everyone at Hear and Say, we send our very best wishes to Michael when he runs at the Nationals later this month, and we hope the family’s attendance to present the ‘Elissa Flanagan Aim High Award’, helps toward keeping special memories of Mum alive.


Maia’s Story

At 9.10pm on 24 October 2013 our beautiful daughter Maia was born. 

The moment of elation was short-lived as we immediately noticed her left ear was missing. I frantically looked to the medical team around me for answers but received none.

Panic set in as we waited 4 days in hospital for an ENT to explain her condition, by which point we already had all the answers from Simone, who runs the Microtia and Atresia Program at Hear and Say.

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