From: Buffalo, New York
Alyssa's journey with hearing loss began at a young age. She was just five years old when her mother decided to have her hearing tested.
"My mother noticed that I wasn't being as vocal as I used to be," says Alyssa. "She watched me over the course of a week, only to notice that I wasn't responding or picking up on most everything that was being directed at me. She took me to get tested, and the test showed I had profound hearing loss."
Alyssa was fit with hearing aids and continued being an active and vocal child. Through the years she developed her passions for music and swimming. Although Alyssa has a great support system of people surrounding her, her life with hearing loss has not come without struggles.
"I don't think I ever personally realized how bad my hearing was until I was about 11," says Alyssa. "It happened in swim practice when the coach was assigning the set, and I was left on the wall."
With her determined and passionate spirit, Alyssa has been able to accomplish great things. She is a swimmer who competes internationally and coaches kids of all levels. She also loves to ride horses and has been in many rodeos with her horse, Bo.
"I have been so blessed to be able to listen to music and participate in a hearing world while being considered deaf," says Alyssa. "The hearing aids allow me to communicate with my hearing family and friends as well as life a "normal" life."
Alyssa believes having hearing aids gives her the ability to have a new grasp on life; however she does not see her hearing loss as something that needs fixing. She says,
"Sound is a beautiful thing and every second I have of it, I cherish. I want other people to be able to cry the way I do when they listen to classical music on a cello. I want them to feel and hear the music through their body when they are jamming out to a good song. And most importantly, I think being able to hear a loved one's voice is beyond the most precious sound. Therefore, using amplification is not admitting someone is imperfect, but allowing one's self to experience life with much greater appreciation for what sound is."
Alyssa is a HearStrong Champion because she is a leader in her community and has the ability to inspire others with her strong voice. She is a great role model for other young people with hearing loss.
"I think the many challenges I've been through regarding growing up deaf in an all hearing world gives me the knowledge of what someone will have to and does go through," says Alyssa. "I've been very blessed to be able to bring awareness of hearing disabilities to the many communities I have been a part of. I want to be able to reach out and help those who want to be able to be a part of both the hearing and deaf community."
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