Champion - Alana Bartels

Animal Caretaker • Horseback Rider

From: Poplarville, Mississippi

Discovering Hearing Loss

Alana's parents believe she was born with some form of hearing loss, but it wasn't identified until she was about two years old after experiencing repeated ear infections. At that time her neighbor was an audiologist, and noticed signs that Alana wasn't hearing and responding as she should. She was soon after fit with hearing aids.

Today, Alana can't remember a life before hearing aids and is grateful for all that her hearing allows her to experience.

"My hearing aids are a necessary part of my daily life," she says. "Hearing allows me to communicate in a professional setting. Communication is also key to personal relationships."

A Love of Animals

Alana is an animal caretaker, and loves barrel racing. She and her horse, Roany, compete in events across the state. In March 2018, she and Roany earned 2nd place in 4D for the Triple D Series year end awards

Why Alana is a HearStrong Champion

Alana is a HearStrong Champion because she loves to help the people around her in need. She strives to be a good role model to others and her determination to face any challenge that comes her way is an inspiration.

"I never give up," she says. "I fell off my horse and hit my head a few years back. It took time, but I worked up the courage to get back on, and finally to run again. Being hearing impaired has its challenges, but they can be overcome. Help is available."

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