“My favorite part about being able to hear is being able to understand and communicate with others.”
Discovering His Hearing Loss
When Colby was 1 year old, his parents noticed something was wrong. He wasn’t speaking at the same age his older brother started to speak at. Colby was suffering from frequent ear infections, so his parents brought him to an ENT. Initially they were told he had water in his ears. Then one test came back showing that he had hearing loss. His parents were shocked upon this discovery, but they still acted quickly. Colby received his first set of hearing aids before he was 2 years old and because of that he was able to hear while his brain was developing.
The Importance of Hearing Better
Hearing aids allowed Colby to attend school with no additional help or devices. Over the years, his hearing loss progressed from mild to severe, and both Colby and his parents are grateful that he received his devices at such a young age. Colby is proud of his hearing aids and expresses it by picking out the most vibrant colors for his aids and molds.
Hearing aids allowed him to grow up to become a very confident young man. His hearing aids enable him to do everything he loves. He enjoys playing basketball, football, and learning new recipes in his cooking class. When he first started playing basketball, he was nervous that his hearing aids would malfunction or stop working. Colby felt alone because he knew no one else on the court had to worry about this. He pushed passed the nerves and today he feels just like everyone else on the court.
Colby doesn’t see his hearing loss as a challenge. He says, “Nothing is going to stop me, I’m still going to do it.”
Why Colby is a HearStrong Champion
Colby is a HearStrong Champion because of his positive attitude and desire to help others with hearing loss find their confidence. Hearing aids have helped Colby develop immensely, but there are still challenges both in the classroom and with sports. When challenges happen, he keeps a positive attitude and doesn’t let anything get him down. When teachers or peers think he is ignoring them or not paying attention, he makes sure to stand up for himself and remind them that he has hearing loss. When people ask if he is wearing ear buds, he explains they are hearing aids and they help him hear. Having hearing loss/hearing aids is all Colby has ever known, but he doesn’t let it stop him from doing anything he sets his mind to. He is a great role model for other kids with hearing loss to look up to.
“I’ve had hearing aids for so long and I never felt different from other people. Maybe that will help others find confidence within themselves.”