Brian McCaskey and Mark Scoggins are used to interacting with championship athletes, but they will soon meet three very different kinds of champions.
At Lovell’s of Lake Forest, north of Chicago, on June 20th at 2 p.m., Brian McCaskey, senior director of business development for the Chicago Bears, Mark Scoggins, chief revenue officer for the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) and Ed Keller, founder of the HearStrong Foundation, will honor three Chicago-area HearStrong Champions: Eliza Peters, Nancy Chovancek and Karen Putz.
As the cornerstone of the non-profit foundation, HearStrong Champions are the men, women and children who refuse to let hearing loss prevent them from achieving their goals and inspire others to live their lives to the fullest.
Eliza is an eight-year-old who never viewed her hearing loss in a negative light. An avid athlete, Eliza loves how her hearing aids help her interact with her teammates. Eliza teamed up with ESPN anchor Sarah Spain and the Chicago Hearing Society to develop Hear the Cheers!, a campaign to raise money to help young athletic girls afford the hearing technology they need. In just one month, Hear the Cheers! raised more than $18,200 from approximately 290 donors nationwide.
Nancy is a successful entrepreneur who gradually experienced hearing loss due to Meniere’s disease, an inner ear condition that causes vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss and a feeling of fullness in one’s ears. After she was fitted with hearing devices, Nancy felt re-born. In order to inspire others with hearing loss, she wrote a memoir called I Can Finally Hear the Birds.
Karen is a motivational speaker with a very popular blog called A Deaf Mom Shares Her World. Refusing to let her hearing loss keep her from completing her goals, Karen took up competitive barefoot water skiing at the age of 45, 26 years after a waterskiing accident actually caused her hearing loss.
“By celebrating HearStrong Champions like Eliza, Nancy and Karen, we hope to shatter the social stigmas surrounding hearing loss and help spread hearing loss awareness,” said Keller.
Roughly 36 million Americans suffer from hearing loss—and that number is on the rise. Recent studies have shown that one in five teenagers has hearing loss, as well as 60% of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. However, due to lack of education and negative connotations, many people choose to not seek treatment.
With the help of its champions, The HearStrong Foundation is working to end that once and for all.
The HearStrong Foundation strives to recognize the accomplishments of those who have overcome hearing loss and live their lives to the fullest. Headquartered in Syracuse, NY, the foundation is a world-wide advocate for hearing loss awareness, education and support. For more information about the foundation, or to nominate a HearStrong Champion, please contact:
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