Champion - Lexi Vernon

Basketball Player • Young Philanthropist

From: Nashville, Tennessee

Experiencing Hearing Loss

Lexi and her parents estimate that she was born with hearing loss; however, they didn't have a definitive answer until she was 14 months old. Lexi never received a newborn hearing screening and the tests following that were inconclusive. Finally, when she was 10 months old, Lexi's dad knew something wasn't right, and she was diagnosed with hearing loss four months later.

"My parents are the reason we finally found out I was deaf and they thought cochlear implants were the best option for me live a very normal life," says Lexi. "Boy were they right!

I have no idea what life was like before I had my cochlear implants because I was a baby and don't really remember. But I can tell you what it's like now when I take off my cochlear implants! When I have them on I can hear my friends laugh, the sound of a basketball dribble, and my coach talking to me. When they are off, I get peace and quiet from my brother."

Great Accomplishments

Even at her young age, Lexi has accomplished so much with the help of her cochlear implants.

"With my cochlear implants, I have accomplished being able to use speech and to talk," she says. "I play on two sports teams where I'm a center in basketball and fast pitch pitcher in softball. I love singing and music, and I get to go to a regular school.

Better hearing has helped Lexi excel in her own life, and now she and her family pass that gift onto others!

"My mom started a charity called Songs for Sound," says Lexi. "We serve all over the USA with a free hearing clinic and I get to volunteer there when it's in Tennessee. But my favorite mission work was when we went to a deaf school in Jamaica. We gave all the kids at the Jamaica Christian School for the Deaf their first hearing tests and hearing aids! I got to teach a boy to talk and use his voice! He was repeating sentences after me."

Why Lexi is a HearStrong Champion

Lexi is a HearStrong Champion because she has made it a priority in her life to help others with hearing loss get the treatment they need and feel confident in their hearing devices.

When asked how she feels about being a HearStrong Champion, Lexi says, "I feel so happy because I can help others! I don't want anyone to feel scared when they get their hearing aids or cochlear implants turned on. I want to tell them, 'It's okay! Don't be afraid! You are good.'"

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