Hearing loss number one diagnosis for military



"We understand," said Air Force Col. Joseph Brennan, an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. "It's like the old Army helmets. Soldiers were complaining they couldn't shoot with them. So even though they offered better protection, which as a doctor is what I care about, the fight is most important."

One local group is working to help create more awareness of the problems associated with the loss of hearing. Rotarians for Hearing Regeneration, headquartered in Steilacoom, is hosting "Eat, Laugh, and Learn Breakfast - A National Hearing Day Celebration" from 7 to 8:45 a.m. May 12 at the Old Country Buffet in the Lakewood Towne Center.

The event is open to all and features hearing research scientist Dr. Edwin Rubel from the University of Washington's Virginia Merrill Bloedel Research Center. Rubel will reveal his latest findings on hearing regeneration and answer questions on hearing loss and prevention.

The center brings together an interdisciplinary group of investigators to study hearing, hearing loss and related communication disorders so that those who would, might hear. The center is also a communication focal point among basic and clinical scientists to facilitate the sharing of ideas and information for the collective advancement of auditory science and patient care.

Also appearing at the event is nationally known hearing-impaired comedian Kathy Buckley.

Buckley is a five-time American Comedy Award Nominee as Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne, who has also appeared on The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning and The Today Show.

The breakfast gathering marks the first fundraising event sponsored by Rotarians for Hearing Regeneration, which was started by Clover Park Rotary and led by Rotarian Gene Pankey. Known for his successful used car business, Pankey's own hearing loss is the embodiment of both birth defect and noise induced hearing loss. He understands and believes we can create a hearing world. Funds from the event will help with hearing loss prevention education and hearing regeneration research.

Hearing loss prevention and information will be available at the fundraising breakfast.


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