Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Over 20k raised for Jurnee

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Jurnee McCaskill has a hearing implant and fundraising for a second one, here with step mother Esther Atkins. Photo/Ruth Keber
Jurnee McCaskill has a hearing implant and fundraising for a second one, here with step mother Esther Atkins. Photo/Ruth Keber

More than $22,500 has been raised to help get a Tauranga girl a cochlear ear implant for her right ear - with $10,000 being donated by one person alone.

Born profoundly deaf, the 9-year-old has spent most of her life in silence.

Her foster mum Esther Atkins plans to raise $28,000 by the end of this year to get the cochlear implant.

Read more: Family's mission to end the silence

A pre-operation appointment has been booked for August 10, Mrs Atkins said.

"The sooner we can get her hearing better, the sooner she can catch up in class. She has two and half years before she goes to intermediate and it will be a heck of a lot easier for her to catch up in primary school than intermediate or college."

Mrs Atkins said since the Bay of Plenty Times published a story on Jurnee a steady flow of donations had been flowing in for Jurnee's Givealittle page.

"I can't get over people's generosity. After the article ran the amount of donations just kept jumping up. I had a call from an older woman as well asking for the bank account number to make a donation and all of a sudden there was a donation of $10,000. It was incredible.

"We could never thank her enough for what she has done for Jurnee.

Tauranga man Bryan Archer, who is also profoundly deaf, has jumped on board to help Jurnee.

He has had no hearing in his right ear and only 40 per cent in the left.

"There is nothing that can be done for my hearing. But there is something we can do for Jurnee's.

"I know what it is like to live a life when you are struggling to hear people. Struggling to join into conversations, you tend to isolate yourself because you just switch off.

"If you are deaf you are locked out of 99 per cent of social interaction with people in a room. Jurnee has an opportunity to change that. She can be a success story."more:

- Bay of Plenty Times

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