LIMA — Siblings Mya and Ty Horstman are a couple of normal, cute kids. They happen to have a hearing disorder.Ty, age 2, and Mya, 9 months, were introduced Tuesday as the Lima Noon Sertoma Club's 2012 Sertoma Poster Children. Their smiling faces grace the club's poster promoting May as Better Speech and Hearing Month, and they'll get to ride the Sertoma Club's float in the Memorial Day parade.The youngest son and daughter of Greg and Sarah Horstman, of Ottoville, have a congenital condition known as Connexin 26 disorder. Both were diagnosed as newborns at Lima Memorial Health System.Ty's hearing loss is severe, Sarah Horstman said. Mya's is moderate. Both benefit greatly from hearing aids, she said, although Mya tends to pulls hers out sometimes.Three older siblings, Carter, 7, Landon, 5, and Brynn, 4, do not have the Connexin disorder.“Ty wears his all the time,” his mother said. “When he wakes up in the morning, first thing he wants his hearing aids.”Sarah also uses an FM system that amplifies her voice. She said the entire family has been trained in sign language to help communicate with Mya and Ty. The Horstmans said Ty receives speech and other kinds of therapy. Thanks to the hearing aids and therapy, he is at nearly normal development for children his age, lagging the average by about a month.The Sertoma Club's SHARP Committee — SHARP stands for Sertoma Hearing Aid Replacement Program — was founded in 1994. Its purpose is to help provide hearing aids to patients who can't afford them and who “fall between the cracks” of other programs, said Patrick Wainscott, the committee's founder and chairman.“We're not trying to replace any social programs. We're just trying to help those that just don't fit them,” Wainscott said. “We've provided an awful lot of hearing aids to those who can't afford them.”The committee includes three doctors of audiology: Alexis Nadler, with Hearing and Balance Center; Dennis Durst, with St. Rita's Medical Center; and Terry Schive, with Lima Memorial Health System, as well as audiologist Vanessa Lee, of Auglaize Audiology in Wapakoneta.St. Rita's and Lima Memorial alternate in choosing each year's poster child. Ty and Mya were chosen by Lima Memorial.The Lima Noon Sertoma Club operates a summer speech and hearing clinic from June 11 to July 13. For information about the clinic or to receive an application, call 419-222-8806.
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.