Sarah Ball

Hearstrong Champion

Sarah Ball

Student • Advocate

My favorite sound is my parents saying I love you!

Discovering Her Hearing Loss

Sarah was 2 ½ years old when she suddenly lost her hearing due to enlarged vestibular aqueducts. Discovering Sarah’s hearing loss was difficult at first—her parents were told by her pediatrician that she had autism or a form of apraxia. Her parent’s didn’t know exactly what was wrong until one day when her father came home early from work and he called to Sarah, who was facing away from him near the door, didn’t respond but felt the vibrations of the door shut after he stopped calling her. Her parent’s then realized the pediatrician was on the wrong track. After consulting with Sarah’s speech therapist they took her to an audiologist.

“Two days after the diagnosis we met a family who had a little girl with cochlear implants. Seeing the success she had with them left us determined to secure the same future for Sarah.” –Sarah’s father

The Importance of Hearing Better

Sarah now wears cochlear implants and they have allowed her to be in a mainstream classroom since preschool. When in school Sarah uses an FM system to help her hear her teachers and can enjoy a “traditional” education with all her hearing-friends. Cochlear implants have let Sarah excel in school as she is a straight A student and even tests above her grade level.

Sarah loves school and she loves spending time with her family and friends. Sarah’s two favorite subjects in school are science and gym because she loves being able to learn about animals and being active by playing her favorite sport, capture the flag. Sarah loves to tell stories about her ears to the kids at school and teaching them how her cochlear implants work. Sarah loves being able to hear the tiniest of sounds along with her parent’s voices.

Why Sarah is HearStrong Champion

Sarah is a HearStrong Champion because she is extremely loving and wants to help others have better hearing. Sarah enjoys working with organizations such as Waiting to Hear, where she can help other children who have experienced hearing loss or deafness. Sarah wants to help more kids hear and wants to be able to give a pair of hearing aids to someone who needs them.

When Sarah was 4 years old her grandfather was getting hearing aids. Her parent’s explained to her that he needed them to help him hear too. At first Sarah looked sad, then after thinking for a long moment she removed one of her own sound processors and handed it to her grandfather. Sarah’s father said, “To watch her realize what an important gift she had been given, and to see her want to share that gift with someone she loved despite the obvious sacrifice left me speechless.” Sarah’s selflessness and love for others is inspiring and demonstrates a true HearStrong Champion.

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HearStrong Champions are individuals with hearing loss who are dedicated to inspiring and empowering others. Sound like someone you know? Nominate them today!