From: Tuscon, AZ
Nominated by: Julie Smith
Photo credit: Tom Spitz
Marcus has never let any obstacles get in the way of his success. With his determination and the help of his parents, he has become an incredible athlete and an advocate for those with hearing loss.
"I didn't know life before I was deaf because I was born deaf," says Marcus. "My parents didn't find out until I was about three years old. I am proud of who I am, and what I have become today, and this is all because of my parents. As soon as my parents learned that I was deaf, they did everything they could to educate me and prepare me to be a successful adult."
"My ability to hear is a tool that I use to help me train and be successful. Therefore, it is important to me that I receive the best care and technology. Going to the audiologist helps me feel better, and I know they will take care of me and make sure I hear properly!"
Marcus says that using hearing devices has had a major impact on his life, and he is grateful that his parents provided him what the support he needed to succeed.
"Having hearing aids helped me greatly when I was younger, and I was able to hear the voices of my family and friends," says Marcus. "Additionally, I was able to learn to speak quickly because my parents had gotten me a speech therapist."
Marcus says that hearing people's voices is an experience that most people take for granted. He says,
"Voices are unique like fingerprints, and there is a lot of information included in a person's voice; it gives you a sense of connection. I'm most grateful to be able to hear my parent's and sister's voices, because without them, I don't think I would be where I am today."
Marcus states that he would like to thank his parents for their support and finding the best resources to make him hear again. "Without their words of support and encouragement, I wouldn't be the same person."
"Hearing instructions and receiving feedback is a critical part of being a professional swimmer," says Marcus. "Without hearing the messages from my coaches, or friends, my ability to improve myself would not be the same. Hearing in general has helped me gain more knowledge, and communication is critical. Hearing has helped me gain confidence in myself."
For those seeking assistance about their hearing loss, Marcus advises them to,
"Get all of the tools you think are necessary to help your dreams come true and to achieve success. Everyone has a different life goal, but we all feel the same sense of awe and satisfaction when we achieve it. If not being able to hear is a roadblock to your success, remove it!"
Marcus is a HearStrong Champion because he is a great role model and advocate for those with hearing loss. He has been an inspiration to those trying to overcome and acknowledge their hearing difficulties and his determination has led him to a successful professional swimming career. He even participated in the 2016 Summer Olympic Trials. He says,
"Being named a HearStrong Champion is a great honor, as well as an opportunity to inspire those with hearing loss. It would be a chance to demonstrate to a larger audience that dreams can come true with hard work and with the help of great technology."
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