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May 2016 Portugal

Goodness thrived at our recent hearing health care mission in Lisbon Portugal. What stood out at this mission is that we were able to focus on giving the gift of hearing to older individuals. Starkey Hearing Foundation helped patients from Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa, demonstrating at any age, the world is still full of possibility.

During Phase 1 of our hearing mission we worked with local partners (in this mission GAES Solidaria) to identify and screen prospective patients. In Lisbon, we knew we could help senior patients with their hearing.

And on May 27, during Phase 2, joyous moment after joyous moment filled our hearing mission as patients lit up after receiving their hearing devices. Clearly, our special guests at the mission, Hollywood Vampires, contributed to their happiness. They met and encouraged more than 30 patients. The band first supported a hearing mission in Rio de Janeiro where they witnessed people hearing for the first time. Because of that meaningful experience, they were on board months ago to help patients at the Portugal mission.

We had one patient dancing beautifully with lead singer, Alice Cooper’s wife Sheryl. Another memorable moment came when Johnny Depp, also a member of the Hollywood Vampires, teased patient Maria Isabel about liking her hat.

“We have our hearing, and these people do not,” said Johnny Depp. “To have Bill and his gang school us, and take part in the process of allowing people to hear makes today meaningful. Anytime you can find yourself making a difference -- to see them -- we are getting the gift.”

Giving a person the ability to hear has an immediate inspiring impact on that person’s quality of life and a compounding positive effect on the world. Hearing empowers people to reach their full potential and creates a future filled with possibilities. Many were able to hear for the first time, to experience the joy of music and to live more independently as a result of their new found connection to the world.

“It was a good day of people coming together to discover our humanity through caring,” said Bill Austin, founder, Starkey Hearing Foundation.

We want to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the hearing health care mission in Portugal. GAES Solidaria was instrumental in the implementation, and Santa Casa da Misericordia de Lisboa and House of Holy Mother of Cross for your wonderful assistance with the patients.

The Hollywood Vampires made the day incredibly special for all of us and demonstrated caring and concern.

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