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.”

Join the Newsletter


Receive word of new champions, special events, and more!



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.

Donate »


Learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants and how to live with hearing loss the HearStrong way.

Learn »


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!

Nominate »


HearStrong champions serve as a role model to empower the 80% of people with hearing loss who have yet to seek assistance and motivate them to take control of their hearing health. Find out more about each of their inspirational stories!

Champions »

Champion Resources

Are you a HearStrong Champion who is passionate about educating others about the importance of taking control of their hearing health?

Click here to access exclusive tools to support your community outreach efforts.