Champion - Memphis Oldham

Lacrosse Player • Student

From: Castle Rock, Colorado

Experiencing Hearing Loss

Memphis was diagnosed with hearing loss at birth, and his parents were told he would never be able to talk or be mainstreamed in school. His mother, Lynnea, recalls,

"We were told he had 'auditory neuropathy.' We went to a couple doctors before we found one that was highly recommended and we liked. He stated he would just like to try hearing aids to see what happens. He felt that Memphis did not have auditory neuropathy, and that hearing aids or a cochlear implant would be helpful."

At just four months old, Memphis was fit was hearing aids, and they have worked wonderfully for him since. He began to talk before his first birthday, and went into kindergarten reading at a 3rd grade level and writing at a 2nd grade level.

"In 5th grade, Memphis used a specialized system where the teacher talked and it was translated via military software to text on a notebook computer for him," says Lynnea. "At the time, Memphis was the only elementary school kid in the United States that used this software!"

Life for Memphis

Today, Memphis is an excellent student who plays box lacrosse. He has participated in a number of activities including cub scouts, t-ball, soccer, swimming, and football.

"Gym is my favorite subject because we do a lot of activities that help me grow physically, and as a person," says Memphis. "My favorite academic class is science! I like to test things and make prototypes. We do a lot of fun labs."

Through it all, Memphis has a great role model to look up to.

"My dad is my greatest role model," he says. "He has helped shape me into the person I am today and who I want to be. He has dealt with epilepsy since he was 14, so he understands that dealing with something most people don't can be difficult at times, but can be overcome."

Why Memphis is a HearStrong Champion

Memphis is a HearStrong Champion because he does not let his hearing loss create any limits in his life. He always advocates for himself and others with hearing loss, and has proven that he is capable of anything!

"I want to be able to let other kids with hearing loss know that it can be easier than they think," says Memphis. "It might seem hard, it might feel hard, but once you accept it and get past that, it can be easy to cope with. I think all kids who are having a hard time should know this. I also think they should know that they aren't limited by their hearing loss."

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