Champion - Bradley Peterson

Survivor • Athlete

Nominated by: Faye Peterson, of Dubois, PA

Born with Hearing Loss

Unlike his twin brother, Bradley was born with auditory neuropathy—a hearing disorder in which sound enters the inner ear normally but is unable to properly travel to the brain. As a result, Bradley's hearing was severely limited. By the time he was three, Bradley was working with interpreters and attending classes for the deaf. But his parents and teachers wanted Bradley to experience his world in the fullest way possible. With their encouragement, Bradley was fitted with hearing devices when he was in the third grade.

"It completely changed my life when I visited my first audiologist and got hearing aids," said Bradley.

Overcoming Bullying

By the time he reached fifth grade, Bradley was eager to leave his school and join his twin brother in public school. Bradley had grown accustomed to his hearing devices and how they helped him communicate, but he wasn't accustomed to being teased about them.

Luckily, Bradley's confidence proved to be stronger than the bullies he faced. As he moved through junior high and onto high school, Bradley's ability to rise above negativity and shine served as an inspiration to others.

Chasing His Dreams

A constant in Bradley's life has been his passion for football. Bradley says that when he is on the football field, he feels like he fits in with his peers. His teammates and coaches understand Bradley's hearing loss and that they need to communicate carefully with him. Thanks to creative hand signals, Bradley never misses a play.

His dream is to continue playing in college and further inspire other kids with hearing loss to not let anything hold them back.

Why Bradley is a HearStrong Champion

Through his inner strength, positive attitude and confidence, Bradley epitomizes what it means to be a HearStrong Champion. Every day, he strives to show everyone he meets that hearing loss isn't something to feel ashamed of.

"(I want to) help others feel better and feel confident that whatever is best for you, you deserve it."

On September 27th, 2013, the HearStrong Foundation honored Bradley Peterson as a HearStrong Champion at Dubois High School in Dubois, PA.

Brad Peterson is interviewed by his superintendent about being named a HearStrong Champion and how his hearing loss impacts his daily life, from class to the football field.

CLICK HERE to read more about Bradley's story

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