The Sound Board


Mission Recap: Dominican Republic

In April 2016, LSTN went to the Dominican Republic with Starkey Hearing Foundation and Chivas Regal. We were able to help over a thousand people hear for the first time, or the first time in a long time. Follow along with our journey here.

LSTN and Chivas Regal team up to help a thousand people in the Dominican Republic

Since launching, we've been able to take 11 missions with our non-profit partner, Starkey Hearing Foundation. We've learned a lot, grown as individuals and as a company, and had priceless experiences worldwide. This week in the Dominican Republic was no different; your purchases helped 1,419 people hear for the first time. Hear LSTN co-founder Bridget Hilton

“Dreams are coming true here at the mission.”
- Antonio Esteban, Dominican Republic Country Coordinator for Starkey Hearing Foundation

April 17:

We landed in Santo Domingo, a city with rich history and the capital of Dominican Republic. Located on the Caribbean Sea at the mouth of the Ozama River, Santo Domingo was the first European settlement in the Americas, dating back to 1492.
Joe fitting a Patient in Santo Domingo
When we arrived at the site we met a 5 year-old boy named Royneld Miguel. Like 40% of our patients in Santo Domingo, he was born with little-to-no hearing. Within a few minutes of receiving his new hearing aids, Royneld was able to begin communicating as he never had before - it was truly incredible to see. Other people we met and helped in Santiago include 8 year-old Emely, who traveled several hours from the opposite side of the country to see us in Santo Domingo, and 11 year-old Estefani who regained her hearing after losing it as a toddler to unknown causes.

April 20:

After a few days, we headed northeast to the city of Santiago where we had another 500 patients waiting to be fit for hearing aids. One of the first people we met was a 19 year-old named Brian. When he was only 1, he received medication that left him blind, physically scarred and nearly completely deaf. At 8, he had surgery performed on his ears but a mistake was made and his right ear was perforated which caused further hearing damage. Growing up, even though he had very limited hearing, he gravitated towards music with thumping noises and started making some of his own.

When my co-founder Joe fit Brian with hearing aids, a huge smile came over his face and Joe asked if he could sing. Brian nodded "yes" and started singing music popular in Dominican Republic called dem-bow, a type of reggaeton. Moments like these are why we do what we do and why we are so grateful for your support of LSTN!

Brian, who hadn't heard much since he was one year old

We're incredibly fortunate and thankful to be able to share these experiences with you. Learn more about how our partnership with Chivas Regal is changing lives here, and read more about our mission in the Dominican Republic at Starkey Hearing Foundation's official mission recap page

- Bridget Hilton, LSTN Founder

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