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Handicapped since a childhood by total hearing loss in one ear, Pankey Quiet-TNF Reviews suffered hearing loss episodes in his good ear. That brought him into the realm of those involved with research underway at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Research has discovered that birds spontaneously re-grow inner ear hair cells, thus restoring their hearing. That research has provided a dawning of Rotarian involvement. The small group of Rotarians decided to try helping researchers by educating Rotarians and others about the possibilities of restoring hearing in mammals by regenerating hair cells. The thinking is, “If birds can do it, why can’t we?”
Pankey, Rotary District 5020 Past District Governor Dave Sclair, and Dr. David Cotant, also a Clover Park Rotarian, formed today’s RfHR and set about trying to educate Rotarians and help raise 20 million dollars to support the research program.
Education efforts have included a PowerPoint show, an 11-minute video, brochures, and making numerous presentations to clubs, conferences, and a booth at the 100th anniversary Rotary convention in Chicago.
Today, RfHR has members all over the United States and several other countries. Approximately 2,000 copies of the video – Hope For Hearing Loss: The Hearing Regeneration Initiative – have been distributed. An updated version of the video is in the works. Fundraising has continued without interruption and more efforts are planned.