Welcome to the BIG Website!
My name is Sue Wantuck and I am the current President of the Buffalo Implant Group (B.I.G). I am a Teacher of the Deaf (TOD) at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf in Buffalo NY. I was born with a severe to profound hearing loss in both ears. I went to a mainstream school in their program for deaf students. I wore and relied on a hearing aid all my life. I learned sign language when I started college. My husband is deaf, so are my two sons Danny and David. I lost my residual hearing suddenly in 2010. This caused me to feel an overwhelming amount of emotions. I consulted with my audiologist who informed me that I was a candidate for a cochlear implant. Many hours were spent researching, thinking, and discussing my options. After a few weeks I decided to move forward and have surgery. I received the Cochlear America NU5 processor. Three years passed being a unilateral CI user and during that time I wondered what it would be like to have two instead of one. I decided to pursue a second, Cochlear America NU6 in 2013. I have been a bilateral CI user for almost two years now. It has been a challenging and rewarding journey. It was the best decision I ever made. I continue to practice and improve my auditory and communication skills every day.
B.I.G. was originally founded by Craig Carpenter back in 1985 and continues to be the only local support group for people with cochlear implants in WNY. This year will be the 30th anniversary!! B.I.G. is a wonderful organization made up of Cochlear Implant (CI), Bone anchored hearing aids (BAHA) , and hearing aid (HA) users. Also friends, family members and area professionals are active participants. I reached out to the group when I was in need of help, support and education. I appreciated all the advice, personal stories and experiences that the members provided me. I wanted to become President to return the support for current and future CI recipients and to share my thoughts and experiences. I have recently provided mentoring for people considering getting a cochlear implant both before and after activation.
If you are a current CI recipient, thinking about getting a CI, friend, family member of someone with a CI, or area professional who works with Late-Deafened/Deaf/Hard of Hearing children/adults, please consider becoming a member. We welcome anyone to come and attend our meetings. If you are interested in becoming a member the cost is $20.00 per year which covers 4 issues of our newsletter and also the summer picnic.
Please visit/browse our website, “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Feel free to contact us with any questions/concerns through our email address firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to reach me directly my personal email address is email@example.com .