Once again, I'm participating in the SoCal Walk4Hearing to raise funds for hearing loss. Why is this so important to me? Well, because hearing loss has impacted my life in ways I never expected nor planned for. I was a senior in college when I was diagnosed, and my hearing got progressively worse in the years that followed. Life as I knew it slowly faded away, as everyday interactions increasingly turned into moments of anxiety, shame, and embarrassment. Things I took for granted for so many years - like just being able to have a simple conversation - became huge challenges that left me feeling exhausted and defeated.
Finding the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), Los Angeles Chapter saved my life. The support and information I gained enabled me to finally cope with - and accept - my profound hearing loss. In the past 10 years, I've gone from feeling totally helpless to enjoying life again, something I once believed could not be possible. Had I not joined this group, I never would have gotten a cochlear implant, which has improved my life dramatically in recent years. Taking part in this Walk allows me to give back to an organization that has given me - and others like me - so much.
On a larger scale, I walk because hearing loss is one of the most ignored and misunderstood disabilities, yet also the most prevalent. 48 million Americans are affected by it, and that number continues to grow. And because people often chalk it up to "no big deal," or just a normal part of the aging process, it often gets overlooked. But it actually is a very big deal. Only about 20% of people with hearing loss actually seek treatment. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to higher rates of dementia, depression, stress, poor physical health, and even mortality. Many are calling it a public health epidemic.
If you've read this far, thank you! One of my personal goals is to start spreading much-needed awareness about this condition that affects so many people, sometimes in devastating ways. If you can afford to donate, even just a few dollars, your contribution will make a difference for so many people, by allowing HLAA to continue to carry out its mission - to provide support, education, advocacy, and information to people with hearing loss and their loved ones.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!! :)