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~ Buffalo Implant Group ~


Hello B.I.G. Members and Friends --
  The Buffalo Implant Group has rescheduled our General Meeting originally planned for last fall.
Please Join us on
Thursday, May 16, 2024
6:00 -8:00 PM
(Presentation begins at 6:30)
Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center
50 East North St.   Buffalo 14203
Dr. David Lafferty, 
of Western New York Ear, Nose and Throat (WNY ENT)
will be our guest speaker.
Dr. David Lafferty is a board certified otolaryngologist
 (ear, nose and throat specialist), who has subspecialty fellowship training in otology
 – the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and complex ear conditions. 
 Dr. Lafferty is now the only otologist currently practicing in Western New York.
Dr. Lafferty treats patients for all ear, nose and throat related conditions,
 but his subspecialty in otology makes him uniquely qualified to also treat patients 
with hearing loss and other complex ear problems, including those best treated 
surgically, such as cochlear implants to address hearing loss in patients young and old alike. 
 Prior to Dr. Lafferty’s return to Western New York, patients with these conditions 
needed to travel to Rochester, NY to see an otologist.
Dr. Lafferty sees patients at the Orchard Park, Williamsville
 and Lockport offices of Western New York Ear, Nose, and Throat (WNY ENT)
Read his complete bio here:
The meeting will be held in the lower-level conference room.  Free parking is available
in the lot behind the building.  Sign language interpreter will be provided.
Pizza, pop, and water will be provided. 
Please consider bringing a dessert to share if you are able. 
Anyone is welcome to attend our meetings.

Please Save the Date for our 2024 Picnic!!
We are very pleased to announce that the
 B.I.G. Annual Sunset Dinner Picnic will be held on 
Friday, August 2, 2024.
Our picnic will again be held at the Bowen Road Grove located at 3805-3893 Bowen Rd in Lancaster.  All who attended last year enjoyed this larger facility with attached restrooms. It is an open style shelter but provides much better protection in the event of inclement weather than our previous location in Westwood Park.  There are plenty of tables, ample parking and playground equipment is nearby. The picnic is a wonderful opportunity to meet and socialize with our members and their families. We will be holding a theme basket raffle again this year that benefits our annual B.I.G.Scholarship.   We would love to see everyone there!  More information will be provided as the date approaches.

We recently sent a flyer by US Mail asking members to verify their preferred email address for correspondence from Buffalo Implant Group.  If you have not already done so, please reply to this message so we know the email address we have on file for you is correct. 
We only send occasional emails about upcoming meetings, events,or items of interest and never share your email with anyone.



Buffalo Implant Group Scholarship

The B.I.G. Scholarship Committee is encouraging graduating seniors that use a hearing implant (surgically implanted hearing device) and that will be continuing their studies in either a college or vocational setting to apply for our annual B.I.G. Scholarship award of $500.00. The application and information about additional qualification and requirements can be found by clicking here or on the Scholarship tab above. Please apply by March 31st.  One winner will be notified by mail on or about April 15th. 




Welcome to the BIG Website!

Sue Wantuck

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 3 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 Contact Us page. If you would like to reach me directly my personal email address is suewantuck@gmail.com .

Happy Hearing!!!

Sue Wantuck