During Better Hearing Month, we were overwhelmed by inspiring stories from people around the world detailing their own hearing journey experiences or nominating a friend or loved one for a chance to be fitted with new Starkey hearing aids. Every story we read moved us, and reminded us why we do what we do. Below are just three of the hundreds we received — the winners of our Better Hearing Journey contest.
“My Bright Spirit” by Joyce Potter
I would like to nominate my youngest son Landon. He was diagnosed at age 5 with a bi-lateral hearing loss. When Landon received his first pair of hearing aids it opened the world for him. As a mother I would like to offer my love, heart, and support too.
The reason I feel Landon is deserving of this wonderful contest is that he has been my coach and motivator. Recently his aunt and I have been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He motivates us to get up each day and keep moving. He pushes me to exercise each day to minimize the chemo effects. Every day when he returns from school he has that infectious smile he has had since he was a baby.
His hearing aids are now 4 years old and they need to be replaced. The sound quality is decreasing and I know he is missing conversations. He takes such good care of his aids even when he gets teased or discouraged from doing what he loves.
This 14-year-old knows we are struggling financially, but never asks for new ones even though I know he is concerned when he starts high school next year. I could not imagine another person that would feel more appreciative than my son and our family. Thank you for taking the time to consider Landon.
“How My Wife’s Hearing Aids Keep Me Close to Her” by George Zack
We had only moved into our new home three weeks when my wife was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. She fought and lost her battle in 5 short months.
I took her beloved Starkey hearing aids in to donate them. Her fabulous audiologist asked me if I was still suffering from tinnitus. I told him when I lost her, my tinnitus became a howl and was insufferable. Jon Durkin took the hearing aids to another room, refitted them with longer receivers and fitted them to my ears! I burst into tears!
This man and my wife's hearing aids brought her back to me. The tinnitus was immediately reduced! Every day I make my life changing experience again as I connect with my wife of 44 years with better hearing and reduced tinnitus!
“The War Made Me Deaf” by Efim Manevich
I was born in Moscow, USSR. In October 1941 the German army stood just 10 miles from our house. We fled to Uzbekistan where we lived in a room of a very old Uzbek home. Some day in 1942 an epidemic of Typhus broke out. Many people were dying with virtually no medical help, and the "sanitary" squads were riding the streets picking up the sick and carrying them to hospitals with no return.
My mother hid me when they came to our house. I was literally dying. My temperature rose to almost 107 deg. (41.6 degrees C). My mother sold all the valuables she had and paid a weekly salary for Sulfiddin (the only available remedy then) shots which saved my life.
However, a complication made me almost deaf, and I lived with that my entire life.
In Russia I could wear a hearing aid in the size of contemporary Walkman. I didn't. Learned to read the lips but always had troubles to understand a whisper.
My wife and I came to America in 1984. The cost of a pair of hearing aid was about $3,000, and I couldn't afford that since my health insurance didn't cover hearing aids. Finally, in 1990 I purchased a pair of Starkey hearing aids.
What a relief! First time in my life I heard clock ticking and chirping of birds. These hearing aids served me for 25 years. Last year one of them broke to pieces, and I purchased a new pair of hearing aids. Didn't think twice! It was Starkey that brought my quality of life to an acceptable level.
I am not doing an advertising. I am truly, really, from all my heart grateful to that company for its good work.
We’ll be posting additional stories we received throughout the year. Look for them in upcoming blogs — and thanks again to everyone who shared their personal hearing journey stories!