A Thank You from the kids in Ecuador for Paul Stanley
KISS fans the world over know handsome leadman Paul Stanley, who after 40 years of recording and touring still cuts an enviable lean muscular frame onstage.
Stanley is the chief songwriter and the charismatic frontman to a band that rock and rolls all night, and parties every day.
But his longevity and balance are revealed in his new memoir where he condemns the superficial sycophants drawn to the famous, and shares his own painful path stemming from bullying he endured as a kid picked on for a deformity called Microtia, which affected him his whole life.
His honest account of this has inspired kids all over the world, most recently children in Ecuador, who took to social media to thank the rocker for putting it out there and being the face of Microtia.
Stanley’s passion for music and his ability to write classic rock anthems as “Love Gun,” “God of Thunder” and “Black Diamond” created a successful career for himself. But it was a path colored with challenges and overcoming self doubts.
In his recent memoir “Face The Music: A Life Exposed,” Stanley revealed that he was born with only one ear. Due to a congenital deformity called Microtia, Stanley was deaf on the right side, developing only a stump of cartilage, with no direct path to the inner workings of the ear.
As an adult, Stanley was able to have reconstructive surgery and began using an implanted hearing aid. Although, during his childhood, the condition led to severe bullying.
Fortunately Stanley’s artistic talent (multimedia fine arts, including theatrical stage work) and vision elevated his life, but not without a battle to separate the wheat from the chaff in his personal and professional life. Now he is vocal about supporting all children who are dealing with challenges similar to what he suffered.
Stanley became spokesman for the Canadian based About Face organization that assists children with facial differences and its impact on them. In this role, Stanley met and spoke with both parents and children about his own personal experience with the birth defect known as Microtia, a deformity of the outer ear, and the additional loss of hearing in his right ear. Stanley spoke to school classes teaching them to understand and embrace those with physical differences.
In 2011, Stanley became the House Research Institute Ambassador Spokesperson, educating the public on the risks of unprotected exposure to loud sounds and music which has resulted in an epidemic of hearing loss amongst teens. Stanley has become a much-in-demand speaker, traveling the country lecturing and advocating on the dangers of exposure to high volumes.
Stanley’s personal story resonates with Dr. Sheryl Lewin, a Craniofacial trained, board certified Plastic Surgeon who performs many Microtia surgeries at the K and B Surgical Center in Beverly Hills. She has devoted her career to ear reconstruction for Microtia patients, and has recently formed a foundation, Earicles (Miracles for Ears) for children who cannot afford these expensive ear reconstruction surgeries.
Dr. Lewin has devoted her career to ear reconstruction. She has performed over 800 surgeries for children with Microtia. Dr. Lewin’s creative and artistic skills have enabled her to develop surgical advances in Medpor ear reconstruction that reduce scarring, improve visual outcomes, and eliminate skin grafts from other parts of the body through tissue expansion.
Last year she was part of an amazing conference in the LA area (Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes), and was attended by families from around the world (including all over the US, Europe and South Korea) with children and adults born with Microtia.
They came to learn more about this condition, and seek information on what can be done to help hearing and reconstruction of an ear(s). The conference was a huge success, and it will be held again at Terranea on July 12, 2014. The conference is a 3 day comprehensive event with Microtia and Atresia Surgeons Dr. Sheryl Lewin, Dr. Arturo Bonilla and Dr. Bradley Kesser along with several other surgeons and speakers.
Dr. Lewin recently traveled to Quito, Ecuador and Bogota, Colombia to attend the 2nd Annual Ecuador Microtia Atresia Conference (ECMAC) and Colombia Microtia Atresia Conference (COLMAC). I
No renowned ear reconstructive surgeon had come to Ecuador in the last 20 years until Dr. Lewin had arrived. She was part of a team that educated families about prosthetics. Dr. Lewin (through her foundation, Earicles ~ Miracles for Ears) offered to provide two microtia patients free ear reconstructive surgeries in hopes that their extensive psychological pain would be minimized. These two patients had both had failed attempts at ear reconstruction and a Medpor salvage surgery through Earicles represented their only hope to ever have ears.
Stanley’s own microtia struggles were on the minds of the kids there too. They posted a beautiful picture where the children paid homage to Stanley by painting their faces in his signature star KISS makeup.
Stanley was understandably blown away by their efforts.
“WOW! What an amazing thank you from Ecuador!”
The post read:
Volunteers and a group of Ecuadorian children – who have all experienced microtia or atresia – gathered to paint their faces like Starchild to thank Paul Stanley for bringing a voice to Microtia with his New York Times best-seller Face The Music. Stanley himself suffered from Microtia and has been ambassador for AboutFace since 2010 to bring awareness and support to individuals with facial disfiguration. The photo was arranged as a surprise for Dr. Sheryl Lewin, a Microtia surgeon at K and B Surgical Center and former of the Earicles foundation, who was in town to educate about Microtia and treatment options.
Stanley writes in his memoir: “There is a commonality between people. If you do something that you deeply feel fulfills the need in you, it will fulfill a need in somebody else,” he said. “I have the same passion for life and the same passion for creating. What’s missing is the turmoil.”
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