The Hadden Family

 In Special Appeals

Just a few short months ago, we moved 2,600 miles away from everyone we know, love, and consider family in Alabama so that our two children, Corrigan and Chantry, could attend Tucker Maxon School. We uprooted our lives, our jobs, and our finances to make it happen because we want our children to have the opportunity to develop their full potential and succeed in life. After careful research, we chose to move to Portland because we believe Tucker Maxon can help make that happen.

Five years ago, we sat across from an audiologist and braced ourselves for the news. Our son Corrigan was not accessing speech sounds. Sure, he could hear loud clatters and screeches of high-range decibels, but subtle sounds like rustling leaves in a slight breeze, not even a little. We remember thinking: he hasn’t heard us whisper to him every night “I love you.” He was diagnosed that day with permanent, sensorineural hearing loss in both ears. We ordered his first set of hearing aids and our journey into the unknown began.

We felt the weight of this newfound discovery settle on us as we drove home that day. The realization, as first-time parents, that for almost two years our child had not accessed so much of life that is enjoyed and experienced through sound was devastating. The questions came as a flood – What had he heard? Does he hear music? Can he hear his grandparents? What do we sound like to him?

Audiologists, speech therapists, and a life that revolves around hearing-aid technology – this became our new world. But, aside from 30 minutes of speech therapy each week, we began to realize there was very little available to help Cory develop his speech and language. He was 3 years old by the time a space became available for him in a preschool program at the Alabama Children’s Hospital. Sadly, this program was underfunded, underappreciated, and only available to a maximum of 15 children statewide. Alabama simply did not support spoken language education, leaving an estimated 150 children per year without access to services at such a critical time in their development.

In July 2013, we welcomed our second child, Chantry. We began to notice early on that he did not respond to sounds. At 10 months, Chantry was diagnosed with moderate to severe hearing loss, even worse than his older brother’s. We quickly realized that due to personality differences, the lack of communication frustrated Chantry in ways Cory never exhibited. Cory needed more than what he was getting. Chantry desperately needed even more resources than are available in Alabama. We began to search for better options.

Our nationwide search led us to Tucker Maxon School.

he first few steps were tentative for us. Would our children like it? Did we make a mistake coming so far? Would the school be everything we needed it to be? As days have turned into weeks and now months, we can’t begin to explain the feelings of relief that have overwhelmed us. If you could only see how Chantry is loved by his Preschool teacher Rachel, and how his eyes light up when he sees her, you would understand the feelings we have as parents. Cory is also flourishing in 1st grade with his teacher Jennifer. The level of empathy, advocacy, and interaction the staff at Tucker Maxon provides to our children is beyond anything we ever imagined, or dreamed, could be possible.

Thanks to the incredible on-site audiology clinic at Tucker Maxon, Chantry will undergo the first of two cochlear implant surgeries next year. We can already see considerable changes in Cory as he uses new words and concepts he never used before coming to Tucker Maxon.

Was it worth moving 2,600 miles away from everything we knew and loved? Absolutely! We wouldn’t know what to do without the assistance and help Tucker Maxon has provided our family.

We couldn’t have made this life-changing move without you. Your contributions help Tucker Maxon families like ours afford the best quality education for our children with hearing loss. You open a world of opportunity to our children, and we will be forever grateful.

We hope with all our hearts that you will make a generous donation in response to this letter.

Timothy, Amber, Cory & Chantry Hadden


Help children like Cory & Chantry by donating today

Your gift of:
  • $100 – could provide a complete audiology evaluation for a child who is deaf
  • $250 – could provide 15 individual tutoring sessions with a certified teacher of the deaf
  • $500 – could provide new art, music or PE equipment for all our students
  • $1,000 – could provide nine therapy sessions with our speech language pathologist
  • $2,500 – could provide classroom supplies for five classrooms for an entire year
  • $5,000 – could provide a year of early intervention services for an infant who is deaf
  • $10,000 – could provide annual tuition for a preschool student from a low-income background
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