Martin Soto

Hearstrong Champion

Martin Soto

Volunteer Firefighter • Attendant, Umasky Motor Cars

“I may not be able to change the world, but I can try to for one person at a time. If less people with hearing loss gave up, we could show the world how far we can go.”

Life Before Hearing Aids

When Martin was in grade school, his teachers thought he had a learning disability, and as a result he was held back a year. Through further examinations and doctors’ appointments, it was discovered that Martin was not excelling to his fullest potential due to Chiari Malformation, a type of hearing loss. For years, Martin used outdated hearing aids that did not work properly.

Martin describes his life before hearing aids as quiet and challenging. “Everything was a bit harder, from physical activities to school,” Martin said. Before taking his hearing aids in to be fixed, Martin had a hard time keeping a job and maintaining relationships with the people around him. Not being able to hear clearly made daily life for Martin extremely difficult and stressful.

Martin’s Journey

After Martin took his old devices to be repaired, he received a donated set of hearing aids through his audiologist at S.E. Wisconsin Hearing Center. When Martin was told he was receiving his new hearing aids, he was ecstatic and beyond grateful. With the support and motivation from his audiologist and family, Martin was able to get back on his feet.

Receiving those hearing aids not only improved Martin’s day-to-day life, but also changed his outlook on life. After receiving his first set of new hearing aids, Martin knew he wanted to dedicate his life to helping others. Hearing aids gave Martin a new form of communication and Martin’s confidence rose. He was able to go to school and pursue a degree in health science. Hearing aids saved his life and career, as he accepted a job as a car salesman.

“Being able to communicate verbally with everyone in my life has made such a positive impact on not just me, but everyone in my life.”

Why Martin is a HearStrong Champion

Martin is a HearStrong Champion because he refuses to let his hearing loss hold him back in life. Treating his hearing loss helped Martin become the best version of himself. Now, he is dedicated to helping other people become the best versions of their selves. He is a volunteer firefighter, involved in Feed My Starving Children where he packs boxes for starving children, and Project 16:49 where he raises money for homeless teens. Martin is kind, driven, and never gives up. He uses his experiences to show others that they shouldn’t give up either.

“You have to be the best you that you can be. Whether that’s waking up in the morning and going to work, or volunteering your Saturday to work at a soup kitchen, it is up to you to try.”

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