For the past 15 years, Rob Hines has supported various hearing-related causes, with a focus on The Eye & Ear Foundation due to its dedication to finding a cure for tinnitus and hearing loss. Realizing that significant funding is needed to advance this cause, Hines felt compelled to use his personal and professional platforms to raise awareness and funds.
To that end, he has partnered with EEF to host a fundraiser on its website for the month of February to ensure all proceeds directly benefit tinnitus research. Hines is personally matching donations up to $5,000. Through the power of social media and personal networks, Hines aims to reach a minimum goal of $10,000, including his match. Depending on the response, he is open to increasing his matching commitment. “This campaign is another step towards making a real impact in the fight against tinnitus,” he said.
While Hines usually keeps his personal struggles private, he believes sharing his story could inspire others to support this vital research. A portion of his small business profits (he has an entertainment company) has always gone towards tinnitus research, sparking curiosity among his clients. This year, he has decided to be more vocal about his experiences, hoping to make a substantial difference in the resources dedicated to conquering this debilitating condition.
The NYC resident knows firsthand; he has tinnitus, coupled with single-sided deafness. The combination is challenging, with a constant high-pitched ringing in his deaf ear and recent development in his other ear too. “Living with tinnitus has affected my social life, business interactions, and overall well-being,” he said. “It’s a mental battle to train your brain to drown out the noise, a daily exercise in mental toughness. The feeling of being trapped within your own body, unable to escape the incessant sound, is indescribably taxing.”
Hines is one of millions worldwide affected by tinnitus; the numbers are only growing. “Despite its prevalence, it often doesn’t receive the attention it deserves,” Hines said. “The experience of feeling trapped within your own body due to constant noise is akin to torture. Raising funds for tinnitus research is crucial to bringing an end to this torment and improve the quality of life for those affected.”
Many people are surprised to learn about Hines’ daily struggles with tinnitus, as he strives to maintain a semblance of normalcy. He said this does not diminish the life-altering impact of the condition. “Tinnitus is a longstanding enigma in medical research, and it’s about time we find a solution,” he said. “The day we can offer peace and quiet to those suffering will be one of the happiest and most fulfilling moments of my life.”