Jenn’s Story

Our family is greatly indebted to you for providing the funding for surgery on our daughter. Jenny underwent a bilateral otoplasty at A. I. DuPont Hospital on October 4, 2005. The surgery was performed by Dr. Joseph Napoli. While the surgery was limited to her ears, the positive impact this surgery has had on the whole child has been enormous.

Jenny is a beautiful, bright eight year old girl; normal in every way and yet she has felt different since she was a baby. Her ears started to protrude as an infant and became increasingly more prominent as she grew into a toddler. When she entered preschool, the teasing began and continued through the date of her surgery. Her grades were affected because she would not participate in activities whereby attention would be drawn to her. A competitive swimmer, she frequently declined to swim because wet hair could not provide camouflage for her ears. A gifted learner, she was placed in the Advanced Program and began to worry that being smart and having an ear deformity would double the teasing. Jenny retreated behind her hair and became extremely self-conscious. We often caught her looking into the mirror while holding her ears flat to her head and wishing she were “normal”.

Jenny’s wish to become “normal” was fulfilled by the generosity of your organization via the Eckerd Foundation. In the five months since her surgery, Jenny has positively blossomed. Her confidence has soared. She delights in her new look and proudly displays her ears, earrings and new hairdos. Her self-esteem has increased one hundred-fold. There is even a confident bounce to her step. She swam again for the first time last week and after doing several laps, provided stroke instruction to her friends. She also delights in being a bright and accomplished student.

As parents of a youngster with a physical abnormality that is not considered life-threatening but caused a serious quality of life issue for her, we cannot thank you enough for providing her the opportunity to be “normal”. She can now go about the business of being a happy little girl while we strive to raise her into a woman who will “give back” and fulfill her full potential unencumbered by a deformity that caused her so much emotional pain. We thank you.

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