From: Fort Collins, CO
Nominated by: Dr. Natalie Phillips of Advanced Otolaryngology and Audiology
Since the age of 4, Ashton has been involved in dance, mostly concentrating on tap and ballet. She now participates in a dance competition team in which for the past three years has won many awards for her hard work, character, and skill set.
Along with her talented dance skills, she is actively involved in her school orchestra, choir, and school plays. Ashton has always been drawn to music because she says she can “feel it,” and even taught herself how to play piano.
She describes her biggest role model to be Misty Copeland, stating that “she has changed the stereotypes of ballet forever.”
Ashton was diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of seven; however, they now believe it has been since birth.
“I couldn’t hear people very well, and I had my own language. I had to learn to read lips prior to being diagnosed with hearing loss.”
“My parents had no idea that I had hearing loss until I failed a school test.”
She recalls hearing her brother laugh for the first time and how hearing better has impacted her life.
Ashton advises to those unsure about seeking help with their hearing loss to “Go for it! People may ask questions and be curious, but let them be. Help them see you as you. You may have changed, but embrace that change.”
She recalls her mother taking a model of the ear into her school classroom and helping kids understand about hearing loss and hearing aids.
With her hearing aids, Ashton is able to communicate effectively with friends and family.
Ashton is active in her community, advocates those with hearing loss, and excels in school. She embraces her hearing aids, even though she may be different than other kids. She chooses to live life to the fullest and positively influence those around her.
“I’m honored to serve as an inspiration to others to overcome their hearing loss. I am glad that my story can be inspiring to them.”
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