Twins Who Share a Hearing Loss Recognized as Champions by the HearStrong Foundation

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 11:12:39 EST

The HearStrong Foundation hosted a ceremony celebrating two remarkable sisters who—even at a young age—have become important advocates for those with hearing loss.


Syracuse, NY (October 26, 2016)—The HearStrong Foundation honored Genevieve and Layla Smart as Champions during a special ceremony on October 25, 2016 at the Hotel Syracuse in Syracuse, New York. The foundation serves to change the way people view hearing loss and the adaptation of hearing technology and HearStrong Champions propel this mission through their inspiration and advocacy.

Genevieve and Layla are two active six year olds whose hearing loss was first recognized by their mother, Mona. When both twins failed their hearing screening at their five-year-old well visit, she was told not to worry because the girls were doing well socially and academically and many children fail screenings at that age. However, the screening results prompted her to closely monitor the girls and began to recognize many signs of hearing loss.

When Genevieve and Layla failed their hearing screenings again at their six-year-old well visit, Mona brought them to an audiologist who discovered they each had a significant hearing loss in their left ears. They were quickly fit with hearing aids and have been important advocates for others with hearing loss ever since.

“The girls love to talk about their hearing aids and show their friends and family,” says Mona. “They are very proud to wear them! When kids ask why they wear them, they respond by saying, ‘This is how God made us.’  We know they will continue to thrive and be strong advocates for the hearing impaired. As a family, we have committed funds to hearing aid assistance programs because we quickly became aware of the large financial need for the hearing impaired when insurance does not cover the devices.”

At the ceremony, the girls were recognized for their positive attitudes and their efforts to teach their peers more about hearing loss and hearing technology. They were presented with medals and given the responsibility of being a HearStrong Champion. The Syracuse Crunch mascot also made a special appearance to celebrate with the girls, who are two young hockey players.

With outstanding advocates like Genevieve and Layla, the HearStrong Foundation can continue to break down barriers and increase hearing loss awareness.

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