Nominated by: The HearStrong Foundation
From: Oviedo, FL
Born with a cleft palate and tumors in his ears, Blaise endured many surgeries as a child. Following the removal of the tumors, Blaise first experienced hearing loss. Before he fully accepted his hearing ability and received hearing technology, Blaise said, "it was a hit or miss world where I lost out at times with what I failed to hear, and people would think I was being impolite (or) not listening when, in fact, I could not always hear them."
Never one to be held back, Blaise refused to let his hearing loss keep him from his goals. He developed an extremely positive attitude and applied it to every aspect of his life. Before long, Blaise was succeeding personally, academically and athletically. After earning the title of MVP of Syracuse University's men's football team in 1983, Blaise was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.
In 1984, Blaise received his first pair of hearing devices, at the encouragement of his coach, Gunther Cunningham.
"(He) was concerned about what he noted in me, so he told me to see the team doctor."
During his 11-year NFL career, Blaise played for the Colts, the San Diego Chargers and the Green Bay Packers.
"I have never been held up from any (hearing) loss and will not be," said Blaise. "I have been able to do all the things I dream…"
Following his retirement from professional football, Blaise harnessed his passion and became a motivational speaker to help others realize their true potential and inspire them to achieve their goals.
He encourages others with hearing loss to, "help yourself, for you matter and the world needs to hear you by you hearing it."
Blaise is also the defensive line coach for the University of Central Florida.
Overcoming tremendous obstacles in his life, Blaise is living proof that hearing loss doesn't need to keep anyone from living their lives on their terms.
Blaise said being named a HearStrong Champion is, "a big honor I (am) proud to embrace."
Blaise helped the foundation honor Sanford Freed as a HearStrong Champion on March 28, 2014 at the 2014 AudiologyNOW! Convention in Orlando, FL. Blaise is also a HearStrong ambassador. Click here to learn more.
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A HearStrong Champion is an individual who refuses to let their hearing loss stand in the way of living a successful, well-rounded life. If this sounds like you or someone you know nominate them today!
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