Chelsea Lynn is new to Cleveland Big Wheel Relay and deeply connected to the mission of Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center (CHSC). Chelsea put a team together in honor of their 18-month old daughter, Paislee. Paislee, the youngest of four, was born with bi-lateral hearing loss. Chelsea explained, “She [Paislee] had a rough start in life, but her resilience and courage has been a true inspiration for our family. We nearly lost her twice, but she pulled through with so much love, a big personality and healthy lungs! She is only 18-months old, but she’s our little fighter.”
Initially, Chelsea thought the doctors may have misdiagnosed Paislee with hearing loss as she was convinced Paislee was responding to their voices. However, three hearing screens later, the results were confirmed. Thankfully, a friend of hers referred her to the Regional Infant and Hearing Program (RIHP) at CHSC. After one phone call, they were immediately contacted by a staff member of the RIHP program.
Chelsea described the initial process to be “overwhelming”. “First the diagnosis, then the hearing aids, the screens, keeping the hearing aids in, paying for the hearing aids, batteries, learning American Sign Language as a family, etc.,” Chelsea emphasized, “The entire process was a lot for us to deal with. CHSC and RIHP provided invaluable resources to our family. We learned how to work with Paislee on basic language skills, expressive language, and we received ideas on how to prevent Paislee from taking her hearing aids out and ways to maximize her exposure to various sounds while limiting background noise.”
The Lynn family is extremely grateful for the constant support CHSC continues to provide them. In such a short time they have been involved with the RIHP program, Chelsea tells me “we have met some of the nicest, kindest and most caring people that you could ever imagine. Sandy Frye, their ASL instructor has become family to us. We look forward to visits from Madelyn Bond, our RIHP coordinator. We have built relationships and friendships as a result of our involvement with CHSC and I could not imagine going through this process alone. Thank you to CHSC and all that you do, your work has truly made a positive impact on our lives.”
This year, Chelsea and her family are looking forwarded to expanding their social network within the CHSC community by attending more events and involving Paislee in more activities. “I want Paislee to have a sense of identity and acceptance of self. I believe CHSC will make that possible,” Chelsea said. Their desire to get more involved is why they decided to form a team for the Cleveland Big Wheel Relay.
Their team name, Paislee’s Pilots, is inspired by Paislee. Chelsea said, “Simply put, Paislee is our pilot. She is our source of inspiration and our guide through this journey we have embarked on. She has been our little navigator through this new way of life. She has taught us the importance of communication, a gift we took for granted prior to her diagnosis. Paislee’s Pilots seemed fitting, and will hopefully bring us pilot speed on race day!”
To donate to Paislee’s Pilots or any of our other teams, please visit our team fundraising page at www.chsc.org/bigwheel.