Hearing professionals are working to change the lives of people with hearing loss every day. Here's one of our favorite success stories.
Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
For Nancy M. Williams, her journey toward becoming a proud hearing aid user began just like that.
It was 2010 and Nancy was just about to play Chopin’s “Raindrop Prelude” at a piano recital
. She sat down at the bench confident and prepared, but when she began playing the music sounded strange to her ears.
She quickly realized that her hearing aids weren’t set to their “music” setting. She had to start over – and to explain why. So she stood up and told the audience something she had barely admitted to anyone before: she had hearing loss
“It was a really pivotal moment for me because up until that time I had been silent about my hearing loss,” she said. “That day opened a door for me.”
A CHILD WITH HEARING LOSS
Nancy was born with sensorineural hearing loss
due to a mutation on the Connexin 26 gene. The mutation can cause deafness, but Nancy was lucky to only have mild hearing loss as a child
She was fit with her first hearing aid in 1977 in seventh grade – a behind the ear model
with thick tubing connecting to the earmold that she tried to hide behind her hair.
“My childhood was about blending in and being as mainstream as possible,” she said. “It felt like I would be penalized if I admitted to people that I had a hearing loss
, so I rarely told anyone – in some sense I didn’t even admit it to myself.”