Nominated by: The HearStrong Foundation
From: Toronto, Ontario
A native of Toronto, D.J. was born with hearing loss.
"Before I got hearing aids (at age four), I had tympanostomy tubes put in my ears nine or ten times," said D.J. "They proved to be ineffectual, so they (doctors) finally determined hearing aids were necessary. I don't remember life before hearing aids."
Because he began wearing his hearing devices so young, D.J. quickly accepted his lifestyle and learned to value what his devices bring to his life.
"I'm very appreciative that my parents noticed the signs (of hearing loss) early and took me to a professional, setting me up for a successful life with hearing aids," said D.J. "Any issues of embarrassment or wounded pride go out the window when you're able to hear all the wonderful sounds this world has to offer."
As a stand-up comedian and television personality, D.J. has the unique opportunity to show audiences around the world that hearing loss doesn't have to keep anyone from their dreams.
"I love talking about my hearing (loss) in my stand-up comedy," said D.J. "I get to make fun of myself, and it makes audiences feel comfortable addressing the topic of hearing (loss) in a light-hearted fashion." In 2011, D.J. was featured in NBC's Stand-Up for Diversity and was nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award.
"My hearing (loss) helped me land a job with Accessible Media (a national television broadcaster in Canada), which has the mandate of making media accessible for all members of society, including people with all sorts of disabilities. I am very grateful for my hearing aids, as they've opened up many doors in my personal and professional life."
Because of his willingness to educate others about hearing loss and follow his passions, D.J. is a HearStrong Champion.
"I am very proud of my hearing (loss) and would relish the idea of helping others come to terms with their own hearing impairment. (I love) every time an audience member approaches me after a stand-up performance and tells me that they have a hearing impairment and they really enjoyed how I turned my impairment into humor."
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.