Nominated by: Amber Peters, of Geneva, IL
When Eliza Peters was just four years old, she experienced a cholesteatoma- an abnormal skin growth in the middle ear behind the eardrum. Despite attempts to treat it with tubes, the cholesteatoma eventually caused significant hearing loss for Eliza.
After being fitted for and receiving her hearing devices, Eliza never looked back. Her mother says that when Eliza wore her hearing devices for the first time she "looked up with a big smile, gave me two thumbs up and said, 'I can hear!'"
An avid basketball player, Eliza quickly learned to depend on her hearing devices to help her experience everything from the sounds of the court to the calls of her teammates.
Eliza was so passionate about how her hearing devices have helped her on and off the court that she decided to help other women receive the gift of hearing. Prompted by soccer champion Julie Foudy's "Choose to Matter" charity, Eliza teamed up with ESPN anchor Sarah Spain and the Chicago Hearing Society to develop Hear the Cheers!, a campaign to raise money to help young athletic girls who could not otherwise afford the hearing technology they needed. Their goal was $10,000. In just one month, Hear the Cheers! raised more than $18,200 from approximately 290 donors nationwide.
Eliza is a HearStrong Champion because she never saw her hearing loss as a weakness and encourages other young girls with hearing loss to feel the same. Her outgoing personality and compassionate nature make her an impassioned hearing health advocate in her community and beyond.
6/20/2013: Eliza is presented her HearStrong Champion award by ambassadors Brian McCaskey (Chicago Bears) and Mark Scoggins (National Basketball Retired Players Association), and Ed Keller (president of EarQ and founder of the HearStrong Foundation)
Update 3/2/2014: Eliza Peters visits Mark Scoggins at the NBRPA offices. She says she's about 5'5" now and is the starting point guard on her school and club teams. Mark sent her and John (her dad) away with some Legends gear and an autographed Magic Johnson basketball for upcoming "Hear the Cheers" campaign in April as she re-launches her fundraising inspirational initiative.
Eliza Peters interview on ESPN's Sarah Spain:
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