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Siemens to Donate Hearing Aids Valued at $1M to Cancer Patients

Donation is part of “The Baton Pass™” to raise funds and raise awareness for cancer research funding. Partnering with Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and CancerCare to distribute hearing aids to cancer hospitals. Hearing aids to benefit children and adults with hearing loss resulting from certain cancer treatments. Participating hospitals include The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Children’s National Health System, Washington D.C.

Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. today announced partnerships with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation (PBTF) and CancerCare® to bring top-of-the-line hearing aids and audiology services to cancer patients across the country as part of The Baton Pass™, a grassroots fundraising campaign for Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). Siemens will donate hearing aids valued at $1M, to be distributed via PBTF and CancerCare’s network of hospitals to benefit patients with permanent hearing loss due to the side-effects of chemotherapy and/or radiation, surgery or other cancer treatment regimens. The hearing aid donation complements “The Baton Pass™” campaign launched last week, through which Siemens pledged to donate up to $1M in research funds to Stand Up To Cancer for accelerated cancer research.

“Hearing loss significantly affects quality of life—but in many cases can be remedied. We are donating our most advanced micon™ hearing aids, including the tiny Pure® receiver-in-the-canal (RIC), waterproof Aquaris™, the comfortable Motion®, and superpower Nitro® behind-the-ear (BTE) to patients who have lost their hearing as a consequence of cancer treatment,” said Scott Davis, CEO, Siemens Hearing Instruments. “Children and adults undergoing treatment have enough to worry about. By partnering with these two recognized organizations and their network of leading cancer institutions, we’re able to provide the gift of hearing to as many patients as possible.”

The donation also aims to raise awareness about the phenomenon of ototoxicity among platinum-based chemotherapy medications, radiation therapy and other regimens used to treat brain, lung, ovarian, and other types of cancers. Although widely successful in treating cancer, these treatments may also damage healthy cochlear hair cells found in the inner ear—often resulting in irreversible hearing loss.

“Cancer treatment side effects can drastically alter a person’s life and present tremendous physical, emotional and practical challenges,” said CancerCare Chief Program and Communications Officer Brian Tomlinson, MPA, BSW. “Our clients will now be better able to cope with one of the most devastating treatment side-effects—hearing loss—thanks to the generosity of Siemens and the commitment of MD Anderson Cancer Center. We commend Siemens for their pledge to provide a higher quality of care for people living with cancer and for raising ototoxicity awareness.”

The effects of ototoxicity and hearing loss are well documented. Left untreated, hearing loss has been associated with a variety of conditions in both adults and children. Adult hearing loss has been linked to cognitive decline, depression, dementia, heart disease and diabetes. In children, untreated hearing loss may result in poor cognitive and psychosocial development and delayed or compromised speech and language skills.

“Treatment-induced hearing deficits may one day be preventable—a thing of the past–for all young survivors of brain cancer. Until then, the availability of hearing aids is critical,” added Joanne Salcido, Ph.D., vice president of research and family support at the PBTF. “Thanks to Siemens’ generous contribution and commitment, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is able to make a difference for children today.”

Hospitals receiving the hearing aids include The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Children’s National Health System, Washington D.C. Siemens is also providing on-site audiology support through its educational team as well as a dedicated customer service and technical support line for the participating cancer hospitals.

Contact for journalists:

Carly Heimer: (610) 448-3460

E-mail: carly.heimer@siemens.com

For more information on The Baton Pass, please visit www.usa.siemens.com/baton.

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheBatonPass and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheBatonPass.

Broadcast quality footage is available at: http://inr.synapticdigital.com/siemens/standuptocancer/

The Siemens Healthcare Sector is one of the world’s largest suppliers to the healthcare industry and a trendsetter in medical imaging, laboratory diagnostics, medical information technology and hearing aids. Siemens offers its customers products and solutions for the entire range of patient care from a single source – from prevention and early detection to diagnosis, and on to treatment and aftercare. By optimizing clinical workflows for the most common diseases, Siemens also makes healthcare faster, better and more cost-effective. Siemens Healthcare employs some 51,000 employees worldwide and operates around the world. In fiscal year 2012 (to September 30), the Sector posted revenue of 13.6 billion euros and profit of 1.8 billion euros. For further information please visit: www.siemens.com/healthcare.

About the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, a national voluntary health nonprofit based in Asheville, N.C., is the world’s largest non-governmental funder of childhood brain tumor research. More than 28,000 children in the United States are living with the diagnosis of a brain tumor, and 13 more cases are identified each day. Our programs also include free educational resources and special events for brain tumor survivors and their families. For more information, call 800-253-6530 or go to www.curethekids.org.

About CancerCare

Founded in 1944, CancerCare® is the leading national organization providing free support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by professional oncology social workers. To learn more, visit www.cancercare.org or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).

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