From: Olathe, Kansas
Nominated by: the HearStrong Foundation
"I was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss and tinnitus two months after my oldest son was born 12 years ago. I was 27," said Shanna. "I spent two years in hearing loss denial, refusing to get hearing aids. I couldn't hear my baby son's cries in the other room, or the sound of my phone ringing, or my home's smoke alarm. It was a stressful and confusing time. I wanted to be able to hear my growing son's words and help him develop his speech skills. In order to hear him clearly, I had to get help. When he was two years old, I purchased my first set of hearing aids and have worn (hearing aids) ever since."
"I launched a home-based business, Lipreading Mom Communications, and have traveled throughout the Midwest as a motivational speaker and at book promotional events," said Shanna. "My first book, Lip Reader, was published in 2009. Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom, the true story of my hearing loss journey, was published in March 2013.
In 2009, I helped co-found the Kansas City Chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America, which has grown tremendously. I promote a number of different hearing loss awareness campaigns on my blog LipreadingMom.com, including Show Me Your Ears (which included ear photos from around the world) and Stop Hearing Loss Bullying, which launched its worldwide awareness video on May 24, 2013. My book and speaking website is www.ShannaGroves.com. I also write the column, Ask Lip Reading Mom, every week at www.Deaf-Insight.com.
"Hearing better allows me to stay connected with those I love. It allows me to learn from other people when we share our stories. And there is nothing more exciting than being able to hear and understand my three children's precious voices," said Shanna. "My family and I have learned patience and compassion with people who are differently abled. We aren't as quick to judge someone who appears different than us. My children have become good communicators, with strong enunciation and ideas. I feel closer to my family and friends who have stuck through this hearing loss journey with me."
Shanna is a HearStrong Champion due to her passionate efforts to spread hearing loss awareness, education and support to others.
"Getting hearing aids and becoming immersed in the hearing loss community changed my life for the better," said Shanna. "I discovered that my professional and personal life really took off when I embraced my hearing loss. My confidence about it inspired me to reach out to others in the community and be an advocate. My advice: Don't sit quiet with hearing loss. Embrace the uniqueness that you have to offer to others, and get involved in advocacy."
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.