Fisher Foundation Allows Glenview Boy with Brain Tumor to Return to School

Batman Returns! The Caped Crusader returns to visit Brannon Moran in the Hearing Health Center Highland Park office!

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Fisher Foundation for Hearing Healthcare gives fourth-grader Brannon Moran more than $7,000 worth of hearing aids.

By Tim Moran (Patch Staff) – November 25, 2015

Click here to read the original article on the Glenview Patch

The following article was submitted to Patch by Dr. Michael Breen.

It’s been a gut-wrenching year for the Moran family. The Glenview couple’s finances have been stretched to the limit. Yet this Thanksgiving they’re more grateful than ever.

“We’re the lucky ones,” says Brannon’s mother Kristin, “Our son is with us.”

Brannon’s once fast-growing brain tumor is now undetectable…and he’s even back with his fourth grade classmates.

Brannon’s back to school thanks to his incredible medical team…and to the Fisher Foundation for Hearing Healthcare. The Chicago foundation, a one-of-a kind, not-for profit enterprise, gave Brannon state-of-the-art $7,500 hearing aids for free.

“When the Moran family reached out to us, we couldn’t say no,” says Dr. Ronna Fisher Au.D. “I don’t think anyone could say no to a family and a child like this one.” The audiologist directs the foundation and is the founder of the Hearing Health Center in Chicago, Naperville, Highland Park and Oak Brook.

Over his short life Brannon had already fought a speech delay, ileitis, and an immune disorder. His parents paid nutritional consults, speech and occupational therapy. Then came the diagnosis of brain cancer with emergency brain surgery, a month of radiation, and six months of aggressive chemotherapy.

Yet through it all, Brannon has rarely complained. Despite his lifetime of illness and debilitating treatment, he’s remained a bright, happy Batman-loving boy.

Brannon’s therapy was life-saving but it also created yet another obstacle: his chemotherapy had taken much of his hearing. He required hearing aids to go back to school and they weren’t covered by insurance. The family already faced massive medical bills and Brannon’s mother had quit her job to care for him. The parents decided to contact the Fisher Foundation For Hearing Health Care. “We’d heard the foundation had helped another child with a brain tumor receive hearing aids,” says Kristin “so we approached them.”

For the Fisher Foundation helping children like Brannon is a departure. Dr. Fisher created the organization in 2005 to offer free hearing aids to needy adults, to educate the public about the medical effects of hearing loss (e.g. an increased risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, strokes, and high blood pressure), and to offer free high-tech hearing protection for local soldiers entering combat.

“I didn’t realize so many children needed our help,” says Dr. Fisher, “especially those with chemotherapy-induced hearing loss.”

Last month the Hearing Health Center staff fitted Brannon with his new hearing aids. They also visited Brannon’s school and talked to his classmates about how hearing aids work. Dr. Fisher says, “Kristin was worried Brannon might be picked on for wearing his hearing aids so we decided to be proactive.”

Now Brannon’s learning to use an iPad with his fourth grade classmates. The keys to his classroom success are his hearing aids…and his tremendous determination. Because of his treatments Brannon often had violent vomiting attacks during his tutoring sessions. His tutor would offer to stop; Brannon insisted they continue.

Kristin says, “It’s a miracle that he’s here…and I think there’s a reason. He’s here to teach us all a valuable lesson about courage, about always having a smile on your face and a giant heart. I’m convinced from the impact he’s had that there’s something greater out there for him. I feel that every time I’m with him.”

The Morans know there are no guarantees. But this Thanksgiving they couldn’t be more grateful: for Brannon’s life and the foundation that’s allowed him to resume it. “It’s enabled Brannon to go back to his world. I can’t put a price on that.”

Dr. Fisher says, “I’m just thankful, and privileged, that our foundation can help a child like Brannon.”

And the Moran’s plans this Thanksgiving? A family dinner at home. Simple…but it means everything.

“This Thanksgiving should be normal, a normal Thanksgiving…Thankfully.”

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