From: Benson, MN
Growing up, Sara experienced numerous ear infections, burst eardrums, and a mild conductive hearing loss. As an adult, she had an episode of sudden hearing loss, and now has a mixed loss that is in the moderate range. It was Sara's relationship with her children that helped her make the decision to hear better.
"The big push for me was to hear my kids. I am a mom of two great kids, a pre-teen daughter and a son (in kindergarten) that has been diagnosed (as) being on the autism spectrum. My son also has a mild hearing loss. I did have a mild loss since childhood and I think I just always heard like that, so I never knew a big difference. When speech started to get affected, I knew I had to do something. I addressed my hearing loss immediately."
Sara has recently emerged in a new career as a program director at a radio station, and it has opened up a new chapter in her life.
“With my hearing aids, I was able to find a job and career I love. I could never do this without my hearing aids or other accommodations due to my hearing loss,” says Sara. “My new job has made me think back to when I still was trying to hide my hearing loss. There is no way I could do this job or I would have even tried for something like this. As a HearStrong Champion, I feel very proud to share my story now. My advice to others with hearing loss is to just go and get it checked. It is painless and truly life-changing!”
Sara is a HearStrong Champion because she makes it a priority to advocate for others with hearing loss.
“If it is writing to our elected officials with bills coming through that deal with captions, or employment rights, I will write an email and try to have them notice that this is a vast amount of people and their needs need to be recognized,” Sara says. “We should all have the same opportunities. I also started writing for a blog called SayWhatClub about my experiences with hearing loss.”
"We only get one life; use this one to the best of your ability. If my story could get another person to get their hearing checked, wear hearing aids, and advocate for others, I would feel proud. I have used a stumbling block in my life (for) the greater good of others."
Inspired by witnessing her mother’s HearStrong Champion ceremony at Starkey Hearing Technologies on June 10, 2014, Sara’s daughter has taken a keen interest in hearing health and wants to work as a hearing professional when she’s older.
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