Wed, 28 Jun 2017 08:24:45 EST
On Tuesday June 20, 2017, HearStrong held a special ceremony honoring Laurie Morrison and Joey Blitman as HearStrong Champions at EarQ’s headquarters in Syracuse, New York. Both individuals grew up around hearing loss and later joined the healthcare field to help others.
Laurie grew up in a family of people with hearing loss, and her father even ran a small hearing aid dispensary out of their home. Even though she became very familiar with hearing loss at a young age, it was not always easy for her to accept her own loss. When she first began wearing hearing aids at the age of 25, she grew her hair long so she could hide them. It wasn’t until years later that she found empowerment with hearing loss. She earned her Master’s Degree in Audiology in 1996, and uses her own experiences to better help her patients.
"Since receiving her cochlear implants, she has never once complained about her hearing loss, but took it as the hand she was dealt and would not let it stop her,” says Laurie’s daughter, Melissa. “She used her loss to help others understand the science of hearing loss as well as the person behind the audiogram.”
Joey first started wearing hearing aids at a young age, but stopped when he was about ten years old. He was sensitive about his hearing loss, and was sometimes teased. After struggling through high school, Joey decided he needed to make a change and started wearing hearing aids again at the age of 16. Today, he is a medical pathology resident and his hearing aids help him better interact with colleagues and patients.
“My professional life in medicine was only made possible from wearing hearing aids,” he says.
At the ceremony, Laurie and Joey were recognized for their advocacy and perseverance in the face of great challenges. They are both very aware of the trials associated with treating hearing loss, but they are shining examples of why it is so important to seek help.
With outstanding advocates like Laurie and Joey, HearStrong can continue to break down barriers and increase hearing loss awareness for the 38 million individuals who let their hearing loss go untreated.
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