From: Elgin, Illinois
Samuel (Sam) was three years old when his mother suspected he might have hearing loss.
"She had to yell to talk to me in the car when I was in my car seat," he shares. "However, when she turned the rearview mirror so I could see her, she could speak normally. She thought I might be reading lips. She was right."
After visiting a specialist, it was confirmed that Sam had hearing loss, and he was later fit with hearing aids.
"Hearing aids helped me in school because I could better understand what the teacher was saying," Sam says. "They especially helped me when I would hear a new word so I could pronounce it correctly when I used it."
Throughout his life, Sam has always kept his sights set high. In high school he played four different sports, was a teacher’s assistant, and was active in his youth group in church. He also volunteered to help those in need at the Salvation Army Christmas toy and food distribution and local homeless shelters.
For ten years he has helped with Step It Up, an organization that provides new tennis shoes for children at the beginning of the school year. This allows them to walk to school, play at recess, and participate in P.E. or a sport.
Sam is always looking for ways to give back, and he has aspirations to become a firefighter after college.
Sam is a HearStrong Champion because of his perseverance. His drive to shatter stigmas surrounding his hearing loss is an inspiration to all.
"I have never in my life let hearing loss stop me from doing anything," Sam says. "I played the sports I wanted to play, I took a foreign language for two years when I could have opted out. Even when things are hard, I push through and do everything I put my mind to. I want to be a firefighter. There aren’t many hard-of-hearing firefighters, but I’m planning to work hard and do what I need to do to reach my goal," he says.
Join our champions and take control of your hearing health! Click here to find your local hearing healthcare provider.
Receive word of new champions, special events, and more!
Learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants and how to live with hearing loss the HearStrong way.
A HearStrong Champion is an individual who refuses to let their hearing loss stand in the way of living a successful, well-rounded life. If this sounds like you or someone you know nominate them today!
The HearStrong Foundation depends on donations large and small from people like you who are passionate about hearing loss and the individuals affected by it.
Are you a HearStrong Champion who is passionate about educating others about the importance of taking control of their hearing health?
Click here to access exclusive tools to support your community outreach efforts.