From: Washington, NJ
"I was born with hearing loss," said Grace. "It's all I've ever known. My parents got my first pair of hearing aids when I was three months old so I could hear and learn to talk. (I've been) able to accomplish many things with my hearing aids. Basically learning to listen and speak so now I can hear people and all sounds around me!"
"There are so many things (I can better enjoy) like cheerleading, gymnastics and dance classes…I love cheerleading! I can enjoy music and sing. I do really well in school with my hearing aids. I've made Principal Honor Roll each quarter this year in high school. Now that I'm able to hear people speak, I don't have to ask, 'What?' 'What did you say?' or ask them to yell or anything. It's a lot easier to communicate because I can participate in conversations with my family and friends."
Understanding the value that hearing devices bring to their daughter's life, Grace's parents have worked extremely hard to provide her with the technology she needed. But, since most insurance plans in New Jersey did not cover hearing devices, they often worried about the future.
Deciding to be proactive, Grace's mom, Jeanine, took the reins and spearheaded a grassroots advocacy campaign in order to create legislation to improve insurance coverage for hearing devices. After much hard work, on December 30, 2008, Grace's Law, which mandates hearing aid insurance coverage for children 15 and younger, was signed into law in New Jersey.
"When Grace's Law passed, I had to give a speech in front of the press and it made me realize that after all of the years and hard work, it (utilizing my hearing devices early on) really paid off and I wouldn't even be able to speak to them if I didn't have my hearing aids. When people see my story about Grace's Law, maybe they can take a stand for themselves and help other people in their own states do the same thing we did!"
Grace was nominated and selected as a member of the National Honor Society
Way to go, Grace!
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