I love hearing everyone’s voice, and how everyone’s voice sounds different. Oh, yes, and I love hearing music–especially Taylor Swift!
Discovering Her Hearing Loss
Lily, who was adopted from Russia at the age of 15 months, was born profoundly deaf but wasn’t diagnosed with a hearing loss until a month after coming home with her mother to the United States. Lily’s mother, Gina, stated that she had sensed that something was wrong and after an ABR test, Lily was officially diagnosed with a hearing loss.
“The worst part of the whole diagnosis process was the waiting. Waiting for a confirmation of her hearing loss was agonizing. Immediately after the ABR when Lily was diagnosed with hearing loss, I felt like the air could come back into the room. We knew what was wrong and could now make a plan to move forward so Lily could hear. It was never a consideration or option to not pursue a hearing device. It was a question of ‘What works best?’ not ‘Should we consider a hearing device?’
Life for Lily
At the age of 2, Lily received her first cochlear implant and over the course of 8 years, she has had to undergo multiple implant surgeries. Through it all, she has remained a positive influence for everyone around her including her teachers and therapists who have been with her through her remarkable journey. Her daily life involves many things, such as being an active elementary student who excels both academically and socially, as well as being active in the Girl Scouts, art classes and hip-hop dancing.
At school, she uses an FM system on a regular basis throughout the day in her classroom and it’s been an indispensable tool that helps her feel connected to her teachers and peers. Her favorite subject in school is Language Arts because she thoroughly enjoys reading and writing.
“The FM system Lily uses on a regular basis throughout her school day levels the playing field. The other students in the classroom hear their teacher, and I want Lily to hear, as well. Despite the fact that Lily’s teacher has to wear a microphone and Lily has to put on receivers every day, I believe the assistive listening devices work together to make Lily feel like a “regular” kid. She just needs a few more tools in order to hear.”
Lily's Role Model
When asked who her biggest role model is and why they inspire you, her response was touching and a testament to the love and support in her life. “My mom is my biggest role model. She’s smart, funny, kind and she takes care of me all by herself. She’s also good at pacing herself because she always makes time for both home and work.”
Why Lily is a HearStrong Champion
Lily is a HearStrong Champion because even at a young age, she is an advocate and knows the importance of treating hearing loss. When asked what why she wants to be a HearStrong Champion, Lily stated, “So I can tell everyone about my cochlear implants and I want everyone to know how wonderful hearing can be!”