Over the past month we have met wonderful new friends from the first PCISG meetup. We talked to Mommy Jeng Almazan prior the event, to ask some questions and chat about how PCISG started, and why families on a hearing journey, like us, need to band together.
Q: Why did you start the support group?
Mommy Jeng: At first kasi nung nalaman namin ung about sa hearing loss ng baby namin wala talaga kami mapagtanungan. Wala ako kilalang deaf people so ang source of information ko is internet lang. I joined different FB groups regarding CI and in my search napansin ko puro foreign groups lang meron. Di naman ako masyado makarelate sa groups nila kc iba ang setting. Puro kc paid by insurance ang CI nila hindi tulad dito. That's when I decided to create a group that would provide support and information for Filipino kids and families.
(When we knew about our baby's hearing loss we don't have anyone to ask questions to. I don't know any deaf persons so my source of information is only the internet. I joined different FB groups regarding CI and in my search I observed that its mostly foreign groups. I cannot relate so much because they have a different setting. Their CI surgeries are covered by insurance unlike here. That's when I decided to create a group that would provide support and information for Filipino kids and families.)
Q: How has the support group grown over time?
Mommy Jeng: Una small group lang. Basta may nakilala ako na kid na naka-CI iniinvite ko ung parents na magjoin sa group. Eventually dumami na rin ang members.
(It was a small group at first. Everytime I meet a child who has CI I invite the parents to join the FB group. It eventually grew in members.)
Q: What benefits does a support group bring to other parents/families?
Mommy Jeng: First na naging tulong sa parents is meron na sila napagtatanungan ng mga bagay na about cochlear implants. Its a fact na hindi pa masyado familiar ang mga Pinoy sa CI. Kahit Pedia mismo di pa nila alam na nagpeperform na ng implant dito sa Pinas. Meron ding mga parents na nagbibigay ng help either by donating hearing aids or supporting fund raising projects for CI.
(First it helped the parents that they have someone to ask about their concerns regarding cochlear implants. It's a fact that not everyone, especially Filipinos are familiar with CI. Even some Pedia they are not aware that there is CI already in the Philippines. Some parents also give help by donating old hearing aids or supporting fundraising projects for the CI surgeries.)
Q: How has the support group helped you?
Mommy Jeng: Malaking tulong sa akin ung mga nakilala kong ibang implantees.. Naging inspiration ko sila, na someday magkakaroon din ng ganung development ang baby ko.
(The support group is a big help to me especially when I meet other implantees. They became inspirations to me, that someday, my baby's development will be similar to them.
We are very grateful for Mommy Jeng Almazan for obliging Project Ephphatha to interview her. We are very excited about what the PCISG community has in store for the future!