Tackling Hearing Loss: NFLPA and HearStrong Celebrate Hearing Loss Advocates

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 12:32:58 EST

During pre-game activities in Houston, Texas, HearStrong joined the NFL Players Association’s Professional Athletes Foundation at the Smocks and Jocks event to recognize two remarkable advocates who never let their hearing loss stop them from doing what they love.

Before Sunday’s main event, HearStrong and the NFLPA’s Professional Athletes Foundation shone some spotlight on two inspiring Texas residents. On February 4, 2017, a special ceremony was held at the Smocks and Jocks pre-game event, celebrating Ashley Carter and Jaxson Heise as HearStrong Champions.

Since 2013, HearStrong has been on a mission to change the face of hearing loss. To accomplish this, the organization recognizes people who have sought treatment and excelled, so they can empower the 38 million Americans still living with untreated hearing loss to do the same. Former NFL players have been important in this mission, as many of them act as ambassadors on behalf of the organization.

Smocks and Jocks is a charitable auction that features the artwork of current and former professional football players. Proceeds from the twelfth annual event go to the Gene Upshaw Players Assistance Trust as well as those from the 2013 auction, the site of HearStrong’s first Champion ceremony. With these outstanding events, and the advocacy of former professional players, HearStrong is better equipped to spread awareness about hearing health and hearing aids.

For Ashley Carter and Jaxson Heise, their hearing aids make a world of difference. Born with a hereditary hearing loss, Ashley has worn hearing aids since she was six weeks old, and she attributes much of her success to early detection and treatment. She grew up playing sports and participating in many other activities alongside her peers.

“I can understand and sympathize with a person considering hearing aids for the first time,” says Ashley. “There is a lot to learn and there will certainly be a period of adjustment, but I can assure that person that the ability to hear and having a connection with the world around you is a gift. I love being able to hear my friends and family tell me that they love me and that they are proud of me.”

Jaxson is an active kid who loves to play basketball and flag football. He was fit with hearing aids at two years old after two misdiagnoses. When asked what he would say to someone who was unsure about getting hearing aids, he says, “Being able to hear is so awesome! I get to hear my mom and dad talk to me and if I couldn’t, I would be sad.”

HearStrong is honored to have advocates like Jaxson and Ashley and members of the NFLPA to propel the hearing loss awareness movement!

To nominate a HearStrong Champion click here.


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