Nicole was just seven years old when she lost her ability to hear due to a medication she had to take while undergoing chemotherapy. Since then, she’s struggled to hear the things most of us take for granted – her nephew’s giggle, pen on paper, and the birds outside, to name a few. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made things more difficult – with masks preventing Nicole from reading lips to communicate.
Nicole is not alone. More than 48 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, and more than seven million people who need hearing aids cannot afford them. In an effort to address this growing issue, the Miracle-Ear Foundation has delivered the Gift of Sound to approximately 14,000 children and adults across the country.
Being deaf since seven years old, Nicole became an expert lip reader, but still struggled in school and in social situations. Now as an adult, she’s cancer free, but her hearing loss is getting in the way of her dream: To become a physical therapist. After experiencing physical therapy firsthand to overcome some of the issues that came with her childhood cancer, Nicole has been passionate about this career path.
“I hope my story can be an inspiration to other young people to get the hearing help they need, there’s a whole world out there that we don’t want to miss out on” said Nicole.
Desperate to find a way to achieve her dream, she checked with her local Miracle-Ear store to see if they had any resources available to help her afford hearing aids. That’s when she learned about the Miracle-Ear Foundation, where qualified applicants can receive hearing aids and a lifetime of follow-up services at no cost.
“These new hearing aids are a unique opportunity for Nicole to jumpstart her career,” said Stephanie Partridge of Miracle-Ear Danbury. “At our store, we’re always on the lookout for patients like Nicole who could use the much-needed help that the Foundation provides.”