From: Alexandria, Minnesota
Mercedes was diagnosed with the same hearing loss as her father at birth. Her family knew that the best option for Mercedes was to start intervention early on, and she was fit with her first pair of hearing aids at one month old. Her mother Judy recalls this moment,
"The look on her face–in her eyes the first time they were turned on said it all. You could see that she was hearing things and didn't know what was going on. Three years later she went to pre-school and was so excited to be able to hear the teacher and the other kids."
Today, Mercedes is a high school student who spends much of her time volunteering in her community. She has aspirations to work in the medical field when she gets older because she likes working with others and helping them in any way she can. She also participates in choir and loves to sing. She is thankful that her hearing aids allow her to hear music, birds, and other animals.
Through it all, she has had a great role model; her mother.
"My mom is my role model," says Mercedes. "She tells me to do the right things and try my best. She tells me I'm perfect the way I am and I shouldn't let anyone change me."
Mercedes knows it's important to advocate for herself and others with hearing loss. She is open about her hearing loss and talking to other kids about her hearing aids.
"I want other kids to know no matter what things happen in life, you can overcome them," says Mercedes. "Be happy with yourself and your life!"
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