From: Bexley, Ohio
Eden's mother, Susan shared that Eden's journey with hearing loss started at birth.
"When she was born, she failed the hospital hearing test in her right ear," she says. "I took her for follow-up testing over several months, which confirmed she had unilateral hearing loss in the high frequencies."
Susan was thankful for the medical staff and ENT who guided her through the process of uncovering Eden's hearing loss. For children born with hearing loss, early intervention and resources are essential. It is important that parents are aware and educated on the decisions they have ahead of them.
"I wanted to make sure that nothing impeded on her learning and ability to enjoy life," said Susan. "It was such a blessing to have the hospital newborn testing give me the first indication that we needed to get further testing done. We worked with a very caring ENT and audiology center. They were patient, and answered a lot of questions. It's already so hard being a new mother, so I appreciated their help in navigating us through something I had no experience with."
Eden was fit with hearing aids, and they changed the way she experienced the world, as well as helped her in the classroom through elementary school.
"She could hear more clearly bilaterally and didn't have to depend on just one ear," said Susan "She could also localize sounds, like birds singing, much better."
Eden noticed the difference too.
"My favorite sound to hear is pen writing on paper," she says.
Today, Eden is an active student who excels in math class. She says she likes that every question has a right answer. She is also involved in tennis lessons, horseback riding, tumbling, photography, and the cello. Her biggest inspiration is Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost her arm after a shark attack in 2003.
"She was able to overcome a really big obstacle," says Eden. "Most people would have let something like that defeat them, but she didn't."
Eden is a HearStrong Champion because she has used her own experiences as an inspiration to help others. She and her family started Ears On, a non-profit organization that recycles used hearing aids and gives them to kids in need. Eden knows how important it is for kids to be able to hear better, and she is determined to make that happen.
"I want to let other kids know that anything is possible, even though you may have extra challenges,"says Eden.
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