From: Franklin, Massachusetts
"We noticed Elizabeth's hearing loss when she was about 3 years old," says her mother, Jen. "We had someone come to the house to give us an early childhood assessment because we noticed she was not saying a lot of words. She kept saying ‘what?’ and ‘huh?’ and we felt she was relying on lip-reading."
These signs were not new to Jen. In fact, she and her twin sister, Jill, were also diagnosed with hearing loss as preschoolers. Although Elizabeth had passed her newborn screening, an evaluation from an ENT years later showed that she had 40% hearing loss. She was fit with hearing aids soon after.
Having a mother and aunt with hearing loss has given Elizabeth a great support system. She considers her mother to be her biggest role model.
"She inspires me every day," says Elizabeth. "My mom is everything I hope to be when I grow up. She never lets her hearing loss or vision difficulties impact her in a negative way. She is a wonderful mother who is caring, kind, and supportive, just like I want to be for my future children. She never lets anything stop her from being the best she can be."
Today, Elizabeth is a bright student who never slows down! She is a gymnast and field hockey player. She also hopes to be on the track team next year when she starts high school.
Elizabeth is proud of her hearing aids, and never shies away from telling others about them.
"Many times I am asked, ‘What are those things in your ears?’" she says. "My usual response is plain and simple. I just tell my peers they are hearing aids and they help me hear better."
HearStrong is proud to have Elizabeth as a Champion because her actions and words serve as a motivation to all.
"I want to inspire others like me to never be afraid," she says. "I want everyone to know that being hearing impaired is not something that holds you back. I want to be a role model and offer advice and encouragement. There are no limits to the places you can go. There are no limits to the person you can be. There are no limits for anyone, hearing impaired or not. I want to spread the word and inspire people to be the best they can be."
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