As we all get swept up in holiday celebrations, the Center for Family Involvement is taking a moment to celebrate the everyday people who make a difference in our lives.

Our deaf/heard of hearing specialist Irene Schmalz:

Graphic with black background that reads: Who is your... Unsung Hero Thank you ... Dr. McCabe Irene's Story. Images of super hero with Center for Family Involvement Logo. The words "unsung hero" in comic book cloud with orange behind it. Bottom left is super hero eye mask. Bottom right is a picture of Irene with Dr. McCabe and a heart at the bottom of the photo.

“My unsung hero is Dr. Margaret McCabe, audiologist at University of Maryland.

She is actually an unsung hero for both me and my son!!! Eric and I have similar hearing loss since

birth and Margaret has seen me first when I was a doctoral student at UM, and then Eric when he was an infant.

Margaret gave me the idea of wearing two hearing aids instead of one when I was 21 years

Old. She shared with me when Eric was a year old that our hearing loss might be the only thing we have in common (luckily we have much more!). She encouraged me to get both cochlear implants when my hearing aids were no longer working. With Eric, she found the latest and greatest hearing aids for Eric and fitted him with them. Eric always felt comfortable with Margaret.

Dr. McCabe retired about 5 years ago. She lives about 40 minutes from campus. She has accompanied me to every appointment since I started the Cochlear implant process. So far, that

has added up to at least 10 visits. That is an unsung hero!”