Inspirational Syracuse Veterans Counselor Honored by Local Foundation for Overcoming his Hearing Loss

Fri, 22 Nov 2013 13:13:23 EST

Syracuse, NY (November 20, 2013) - On November 18th, Steve Martell, 50, a veterans rehabilitation counselor from Syracuse, was honored as a HearStrong Champion by the HearStrong Foundation at its office in Syracuse.

Assisting the foundation in celebrating Steve was Tammy Wood, BC-HIS, of EarQ, who nominated Steve for the award.

Steve Martell HearStrong Ceremony

From Left: Tammy Wood, BC-HIS, Steve Martell and Andrew Hebert, vice president of EarQ

HearStrong Champions are the top honorees of the foundation, a locally operated non-profit organization that seeks to celebrate those who overcome their hearing loss to inspire others to do the same and further hearing loss awareness. It is currently supported by its main sponsor, EarQ.

Unlike the majority of people who experience gradual hearing loss, Steve’s hearing loss was a direct result of a terrifying accident.

On June 20th, 1980, the day before he was to graduate high school, Steve was severely injured in a car accident. Upon waking from a month-long coma, Steve learned he was partially paralyzed, blind in one-eye, deaf in one ear and left with partial hearing ability in the other ear.

A very athletic and active person, Steve was devastated. However, Steve quickly realized that he “wanted to live life,” and became determined to rebuild his life. He sought hearing devices to help him reconnect the world around him and never looked back.

After earning dual master degrees from Syracuse University, Steve went on to become a rehabilitation counselor at the Veteran’s Administration (VA), helping disabled veterans gain suitable employment and adjust to the civilian world.

“We are thrilled to call Steve a HearStrong Champion,” said Ed Keller, founder and president of the HearStrong Foundation. “We want to show our community that it isn’t the challenges in life that define us, but how we choose to react to them. By supporting local champions like Steve, we are closer to reaching that goal.”


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