Web site helps parents of kids with ear deformities

DENVER–A Denver mother whose daughter was born with microtia, a congenital condition in which the outer ear is underdeveloped or absent, has launched a web site to offer support to families around the world who face the same situation. About 1 in every 6000 children is born with microtia or aural atresia, another congenital deformity of the ear. The conditions are often accompanied by hearing loss and other syndromes that affect quality of life.

When Melissa Tumblin’s baby, Ally, was diagnosed with microtia, little information and support were available to her. So, Tumblin did her own research, gathering more than 100 web pages of highly visual content that includes articles,

photos, videos, and online forums to help parents who share her challenge.

The site provides practical information, advocacy resources, surgical and technology solutions, inspirational stories, news, and the latest research. Most importantly, it offers families and individuals an opportunity to connect with a supportive online community. The resources available at EarCommunity.com also make it valuable to medical professionals seeking the newest information on these rare conditions of the ear.

Tumblin’s work with national advocacy groups, medical organizations, physicians, and researchers has made her a recognized resource on microtia, atresia, and related disorders. In 2010, she formed the Microtia and Atresia Support Group on Facebook and in June 2011 she organized the first annual Colorado Microtia & Atresia Family Summer Picnic. The enthusiastic response from her support group led Tumblin to plan a series of family picnics for 2012 in the U.S. and Canada.