Champion - Zachary Franklin

Student Athlete • Mentor

From: Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Discovering Hearing Loss

Zachary was first diagnosed with hearing loss in elementary school, but it was not an easy road. His mother, Lisa, was surprised to hear his teacher say that he was having difficulties in the classroom because Zachary was a very polite and well-behaved child. She then began to suspect that there was a problem with his hearing.

The first time Zachary visited an ENT, they were told his hearing was fine and any problems he was having were a result of a blockage in his ear, which they treated. After no improvement, Lisa made an appointment with Miami Children's Hospital and it was discovered that Zachary had mild to moderate hearing loss. He was fit was hearing aids soon after, and has been wearing them ever since.

"What I like most about wearing hearing aids is being able to build relationships with my peers, teachers, and myself. It's nice to hear my own voice," says Zachary.

Life for Zachary

Zachary is a student athlete who is involved in swimming, sailing, track and field and soccer. He is a prefect at his school and his favorite subjects are business studies and information technology. He is also a peer mentor.

Through it all, he has had a great role model to look up to: his mother.

"My mom is my biggest role model because she is always there when I need her and she always wants the best for me, he says. "She is caring, loving, and she always puts my siblings and me before everything she does. In the past, there were times I felt down about wearing hearing aids, but she has always assured me that I am a phenomenal young man. My mom has never allowed me to use my hearing situation as an excuse and she always pushes me to be my best and try different things."

Why Zachary is a HearStrong Champion

Zachary is a HearStrong Champion because he wants his experience to inspire others with hearing loss to go after their goals and never hold themselves back.

"As a HearStrong Champion, I have the opportunity to show others that being hearing impaired does not dictate who you are or who you can be in life. I have not allowed it to be my story," he says.

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