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The Temporal Bone Donor Society Inc

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Dr David Szmulewicz, Neurologist and Neuro-Otologist with Tamar Black at a recent forum.

A not for profit group has been established in Melbourne to help people with clinical balance and hearing disorders, and recipients of cochlear implants. The Temporal Bone Donor Society Inc. is in partnership with the Australian Temporal Bone Bank at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

The Society is holding a free forum for the general public, hosted by Ballarat Community Heath on Saturday May 16 at 2:00pm, which focuses on treatment for dizziness andvertigo, featuring Dr David Szmulewicz, Head of the Balance Disorders and Ataxia Service at the Eye and Ear Hospital.

The forum is at 12 Lilburne Street, Lucas, and registration is by calling Ballarat Community Health on 03 53384500.

The Society also conducts free forums for patient support groups affected by balance and/or hearing disorders. These forums are open to the general public and discusstreatment, current research, and temporal bone donation.

The after life donation of the temporal bone (which houses the inner ear the body’s balance and hearing systems) is for medical research, to help understand the causes of clinical balance and hearing disorders, to improve medical treatment, and improve cochlear

implants.

When registering as donors patients can also elect to donate a DNA sample, which may result in early detection of these disorders in the siblings and children of the donor. Tamar Black is the founder and president of the Society.

Her passion for temporal bone donation stems from experiencing a severely debilitating condition in 2012 that caused her severe dizziness. Treatment for that condition was developed after a patient with that same condition passed away and donated their temporal bone.

Ms Black believes that “many people suffer with very debilitating and frustrating balance and/or hearing disorders because they do not know what specialist medical treatment is available through public hospitals like the Eye and Ear. These disorders frequently impact on quality of

life and mental health, and effect the patients’ families/ significant others. We hope to reduce barriers to seeking treatment, and increase rates of temporal bone donation”. The Society is seeking endorsement for this type of donation from religious and culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia, and plans to hold forums across Australia, especially in areas where specialist medical treatment is not available. More information can be found at www.temporalbone.org.au