Blackfoot Valley Dispatch - The Blackfoot Valley's News Source Since 1980

By Austin Amestoy
UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism 

"No One Can Stop Them:" Meet the Families Behind the Push for Insurance Coverage for Montana's Deaf Children


February 25, 2021

UM Legislative News Service

Nicole Thuotte testifies in favor of House Bill 291 on Monday Feb. 15. House Bill 291 would require insurance companies to cover hearing aids or audiological services for children. Thuotte's 6-year-old has needed hearing aids since the age of three. Photo: Screenshot from Montana Public Affairs Network's streaming of the bill's hearing.

Nine years ago, doctors diagnosed Caden Shrauger with stage-four neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that developed in his nerve cells and spread throughout his body. At the time, doctors told his family he had a 50 percent chance of survival.

Caden underwent numerous rounds of treatment to fight back, and eventually, he won his battle -- but not before the chemotherapy damaged his hearing.

Now, the 1...

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