When most people think of Marvel heroes, they think of icons like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc. The list goes on, but one Marvel Hero you may not know is, HearStrong Champion, Braden Baker. That’s right! Braden was immortalized in his very own Marvel comic book for the true superhero he is!
If you don’t know Braden’s story, he was born with hearing loss and has worn hearing aids for as long as he can remember. When he was younger his rightly named dog, Chewy, destroyed his hearing aids not once, but twice! His parents sat him down to explain how expensive hearing aids are and that it is important to take extra good care of them. This sparked something inside of Braden that would eventually grow into something that even he didn’t expect. He decided to raise money for families with children who were missing out on a higher quality of life because they could not afford treatment for their hearing loss. He initially ended up raising $15,000 dollars and donated it all to the Oticon Hearing Foundation!
Braden was not done here either. He continued to raise more and more money to donate to people in need, so that they too could hear what they were missing out on. He was invited on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where he got meet his role model in person! He’s spoke at local TEDx Talks and is featured in news outlets and magazines, like People. He’s been on mission trips to Guatemala, Ecuador, and Africa where he has been able to directly deliver the gift of hearing with the money he raised. Today, through various means, he has raised over $130,000 to gift hearing aids to people who can’t afford them.
For these reasons, the Marvel Group selected Braden as one of the extraordinary and inspiring kids to be featured on Marvel’s Hero Project. The Marvel Group wanted to highlight the stories and celebrate the young individuals who dedicate their lives to a variety of remarkable efforts. Each individual selected has such unique stories that make them true heroes in their communities.
At first, Braden had no idea who was really behind the docu-series. He was only told that a documentary crew was interested in doing a piece on him, so you can imagine how excited and stunned he was when he found out it was Marvel and Disney AND that they wrote a comic book about him! You can watch his genuine reaction in “Battlin’ Braden” (s1:e8) of Marvel’s Hero Project on Disney+!
When asked what his favorite part of this experience was, Braden didn’t initially say becoming a Marvel Hero like one would guess. His favorite part was when he was able to help the viewers that reached out to him after his episode aired who also had hearing loss and were in need of financial assistance. He was extremely grateful that through this experience he was not only able to raise awareness about hearing health, but was able to assist even more people reconnect to life again through receiving hearing aids! Of course, becoming a Marvel Super Hero was also very exciting for him. Braden had no idea that it was even a possibility!
Braden has always been a superhero, only now it is official! He truly deserves this incredible honor that Marvel has presented him with. We are extremely proud to have Braden as a HearStrong Champion. He exemplifies exactly the kind of role model that HearStrong searches to share the stories of in hopes to inspire and empower others. He has accomplished so many amazing things at such a young age and we can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for this superhero!
Braden wants everyone to know: “People should acknowledge what kind of superpower they are given and take advantage of it!”