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In gratitude of all the support they have had and which is still on going from NDCS, Paul is doing the Great North Run in September and the Great North Bike Ride on August 26 cycling 60 miles from Seahouses to Tynemouth to raise money for the charity.

And this is being picked up at between four and eight weeks of age through the Local Newborn Hearing Screen Programme (NHSP) provided by City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. This covers about 7,000 babies born across Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead.

And in this touching appeal for sponsorship, Paul has written: "On the 24th August 2011, I was told the devastating news that my baby boy Jack was born profoundly deaf. He was only 23 days old. My world completely fell apart. He can't hear my voice, he can't hear music, he can't hear the birds sing. Every little thing that we take for granted. It breaks my heart.

Sunderland. Ed Brown and his team are doing an amazing job."

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"This charity is very dear to my heart and I can't begin to imagine what I would do without it. Please give all you can to help this invaluable support continue for deaf children and their families."

"You grieve for the baby that you thought you were getting. I wouldn't change him for the world, apart from I would love his ears to work. You are sad and praying for what your family life is going to be like. There's not a day goes by that I don't wish it was different."

Then there was breaking the news to the family. Paul, 36, a sport's sub editor at the Echo says: "It just brought Football Boots Without Socks

Ruth says: "Everyone at Jack's hospital appointments have been wonderful, especially the Audiology Department at Nike Football Boots Magista Red

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"However, if it wasn't for the help and support of the National Deaf Children's Society I don't know how I would have begun to cope. They have helped me and my family deal with Jack's deafness, providing advice and support.

Ruth says without NDCS they would Nike Football Boots Tumblr

have been completely lost. She says: "I wouldn't know where to start. I wouldn't have met any other families and wouldn't understand what appointments we have to go to or what his future prospects are and what support is available to us. They do wonderful work."

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Football Shoes White

Being told their beautiful baby is deaf plunged Paul and Ruth Neesham into a frightening world. In Deaf Awareness Week, this Sunderland couple are doing their utmost to inspire others. Women editor Linda Colling reports.

Ruth says: "We met people who had been in our position and you can see how far you can come. It was very well organised by the NDCS. They shared experiences and what their children had achieved." And Paul adds: "It was very inspirational to hear their stories, knowing that there is light at what was a very dark tunnel in the early days. And from all the help we have had from NDCS, friends and family, it's all positive."

When Jack was just 10 weeks old they went on a family weekend to a hotel in the area where they met others who had travelled the same road and were an inspiration to them.

"But there is hope and it gives us strength hearing how well other people's children have done which just shows anything is possible for Jack. In the future he can do whatever he wants to do. We will make sure that he gets all the right support."

They left heartened that nothing was going to stop Jack.

Playing on the floor at their home in Lutterworth Road, Tunstall, Jack is as bright as a button, watching everything, his facial expressions responding to their smiles and his parent's total commitment to communicate with him. They talk to him as if he could hear and use baby signs to help him develop his communication skills. Big brother Adam makes him laugh a lot. And Jack is very much a daddy's boy.

IT'S severe to profound deafness. I can remember sitting there and thinking 'I don't want to cry' but then I just sobbed. I couldn't stop," says Ruth Neesham, of the moment she and husband Paul were told that devastating diagnosis about their newborn son, Jack, who was just three weeks old.

´╗┐Parents of deaf baby inspire others with their story

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it all back. It was such a raw wound." And Ruth adds, "They wanted to stay strong for us but they needed time to digest it. It was totally out of the blue and you just don't understand how this happened and how you are meant to deal with it. Ninety per cent of deaf children are born to hearing families like ours. And you have no idea of this world or how to cope with it.

Paul goes to a British Sign Language course at Bede Sixth Form Centre for two hours every week with his sister and mother in law and then passes on to Ruth what he has learnt.

Ruth has just helped launch a playgroup for parents of toddlers and pre school tots with a hearing loss. They meet in the Fingerpaint Nursery, Ryhope every fortnight on a Monday 1pm 3pm. The next meeting is on May 14.

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She will soon be returning to her job with Sunderland City Council and talks of how she struggled in the early days with stares, nudges and whispers from people as they noticed the baby with hearing aids.

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EVERY year five or six babies are born in Sunderland with a significant hearing loss in both ears.

She says: "It was really difficult taking him out. I wanted to protect him from it. You can see people looking. It's alright for an older person to have a hearing aid but when it's on a baby some people don't know how to react. It's ignorance and people don't know how to deal with a baby with hearing aids. But recently, when I took Adam to nursery one of the mothers spotted me and said 'Oh, your little boy has hearing aids. My little girl has them too!'" In nine months Jack has had a staggering 79 hospital appointments. He's there every two weeks having impressions taken for new moulds for his hearing aids as he's growing fast and also having hearing tests.

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They don't know what has caused his deafness it could be a gene called Connexin 26 which means that as a couple they have a one in four chance of Football Shoes White having a deaf child. But nothing has been confirmed yet.

At nine months, Jack is a joy. A beautiful blue eyed boy who radiates happiness. He's progressing normally and it's amazing how far Paul and Ruth have come in their determination to give their son the very best chance. From the day they were told that heartbreaking news, they have been supported by the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS).

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They struggled to take in the crippling news that hit them like a sledgehammer. It was heartbreaking and Ruth recalls how hearing a song or a piece of music and she would break down at the thought that Jack would never hear such beautiful sounds. "It just broke my heart," she says.

Ruth can't believe how far they have come since that bleak diagnosis and says: "It's one of those things that will never change. However much technology can help Jack, whatever kind of hearing aids or if he gets cochlear implants, he is still going to be deaf. It's not like anything can fix it at all.

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Football Shoes White

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