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Singer to advocate for hearing impaired

Oct. 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM

BOSTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Joey McIntyre, a member of the Boston-bred boy band New Kids on the Block, said news his infant son had a severe hearing loss took a while to register.

But nine months later, Rhys is thriving, and McIntyre has become an advocate for the hearing-impaired, The Boston Globe reported.

McIntyre and his wife, Barrett, learned of their son's hearing loss following a test at UCLA Medical Center when he was just 10-days old, the newspaper said. The couple lives in Los Angeles.

Since learning about their son's hearing loss, McIntyre and his wife made a commitment to help others facing the same uncertain future.

The singer will be at a gala in New York for The Center for Hearing and Communication, and New Kids on the Block will perform Wednesday at a fund-raiser for Massachusetts Eye and Ear, the newspaper said.

"It's nice to be asked,'' McIntyre, 38, said of his invitation. "I'm happy to be of service whatever way I can.''

Wyc Grousbeck, chief executive officer for the Boston Celtics, and chairman of the board of directors at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, asked McIntyre to appear at the fund-raiser.

Grousbeck, whose 19-year-old son attended the Perkins School for the Blind, said he understands the issues McIntyre and his wife face.

"My son is 17, plays in a rock band, studies physics, and has a girlfriend. He's amazing,'' said Grousbeck. "I'm sure Joey and I will be talking father to father.''

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