Champion - Braden Baker

Student • Activist

From: Westworth Village, Texas

Experiencing Hearing Loss

Braden's hearing loss was identified soon after birth. At his newborn hearing screening, it was discovered that he had bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, and he was fit with his first set of hearing aids at three months old.

"Braden's hearing aids have made him highly successful in school," says his mom, Ashley. "His teachers have always used an FM system to make sure he doesn't miss anything. (When Braden was young), I was so concerned he wouldn't be talking as quickly as other children his age, but after years of speech therapy—starting at six months—we prevented any speech delays!"

Paying It Forward

Braden has worn hearing aids for almost his entire life, and thankfully, he has never had to go without them for long. When his dog, Chewy, destroyed a pair of Braden's hearing aids for the second time, his parents talked to him about why he needs to take better care of them.

Braden was shocked to learn that insurance doesn't cover the cost of hearing aids, and some families are unable to afford them at all. This inspired him to start a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for those in need of hearing aids. The goal started out small, but with Braden's hard work and advocacy, he has raised more than $15,000 for the Oticon Hearing Foundation. The proceeds from these efforts goes to families with children who need hearing aids.

It's no surprise that Braden has such a charitable ambition. His favorite class in school is humanities, and his role model is Ellen DeGeneres

"I love it when she gives stuff to people!" he says.

Braden even had the chance to meet Ellen, and appear on her show! Watch the video here:

Why Braden is a HearStrong Champion

Braden is a bright and empathetic young man who has a strong voice, even at a young age. He recognizes the importance of helping others and the power within himself to change the world for the better. These are the qualities that make him a HearStrong Champion.

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