Music to Her Ears

Music to Her Ears
A Family Story

Nora always dreamed of passing on her passion for music to her children. But that dream was shattered when doctors informed Nora that her sweet baby girl, Mariana, had been born deaf. Nora cried when she realized she may never hear the word, “Mama,” spoken by her own daughter. And that was just the first of many fears Nora faced as she set upon her journey to help Mariana get the best care she could. Nora learned she would have to travel to a specialist in Las Vegas, six hours from their home in Fallon, for appointments and surgeries up to three times a month – in search of a medical miracle to help Mariana hear one day.

“How am I going to afford to travel back and forth? Where will I stay?”

Nora knew she would never leave Mariana to face treatment alone. Thankfully, doctors referred Nora to the Ronald McDonald House® in Las Vegas.

For the next eight years, the Ronald McDonald House® became this family’s second home. There were many surgeries and countless hours of waiting and worrying. But there were also moments of laughter over homecooked meals, comforting conversations with other families at the House, and many healing hugs from the staff who had become her extended family.

Mariana and Nora hugging
"The Ronald McDonald House feels like home."

Today, nine-year old Mariana is doing better than ever. During her most recent visit, she received her second cochlear implant, allowing her to finally hear out of both ears! She and her mother celebrated this miraculous milestone in an unforgettable way. Thanks to a generous supporter who donated two Bruno Mars tickets to this mother and daughter duo, Mariana was able to experience her first concert! That night, the vibrations Mariana had grown accustomed to dancing along with in silence were finally paired with the full experience of sound.

It truly was music to her ears! 

Mariana and Nora

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