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Kirsten Brackett
Kirsten is 23-years-old and originally from Denver, CO, but currently lives outside of Chicago, IL. She has a moderate hearing loss and currently wears Phonak Audéo B-R rechargeable hearing aids.
Outside of working for Phonak, she can be found planning her next trip, exploring the city of Chicago, trying out new recipes in her kitchen, hiking or doing yoga. She loves learning about different cultures and languages, and studies Arabic, American Sign Language and French.

Cici hears to dance

Cici Gregory was born to dance. But her body wasn’t. 

Born three months premature and weighing 1 pound, 11 ounces, Cici, faced a number of health challenges, including breathing troubles.

Doctors feared Cici would not survive, but as her parents prayed and hoped for the best, they even played her music through a tape recorder in her isolette while she fought for life in the hospital, the tiny baby made big plans to the beats.

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Teen set to sail the Pacific with hearing aids

Oliver Howe is not your typical 14-year-old. He is a talented musician and sailor… who also has hearing loss. 

The New Zealand teen recently embarked a sail boat with his family for a one-year excursion across the Pacific. While he’s on the open waters the teenager is certain to face tribulations, but what may be most challenging is managing his hearing technology among sea water and splashes.

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Deaf photographer lets his photos tell the story

Having hearing loss wasn’t always easy for Michael Cook growing up.

The 21-year-old went through the common “up-and-down rollercoaster” that most people born with hearing loss go through; the miscommunications, the stigmas… the stereotypes. 

“From being excluded from social events and not being able to do certain jobs that I wanted to do –  such as being in the police force as a police officer – this did not help my self-confidence or self-respect,” says Michael.

But one day, he turned to the camera and discovered that he didn’t need communication for his messages to come across. He lets his photos tell the story.

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How a hearing aid helps my mom live with Meniere’s disease

I will never forget when my mom started losing her hearing.

It began with frequent vertigo episodes. Doctors eventually diagnosed the dizzy spells as Meniere’s Disease, and it began to affect her hearing.

Being hard-of-hearing myself, I always relied her to fill in the gaps that I missed if we were out in public or if I was talking to someone with her. When she began to lose her hearing, she began relying a bit more on me to help her hear, which was a totally different role.

My mom experienced the most difficulty with the transition to living with hearing loss, and of course everyone in my family supported her as much as we could. The Meniere’s disease left her with a new set of challenges she had never experienced before, but one thing has really helped her throughout her journey: her hearing aids. 

Posted in Blog Health

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Facebook video sparks bright change for deaf college swimmers

Deaf and hard-of-hearing college swimmers will soon have the chance to compete with the same advantages of their peers, thanks to a new system inspired by one swimmer’s Facebook video. 

The “Reaction Lights System,” approved recently by the NCAA, will give visual cues to athletes with a series of lights, allowing deaf and hard-of-hearing swimmers to know when a race begins.

Posted in Blog Sports

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Phonak hEARo Kaylin Yost wins gold at 2017 Deaflympics

Kaylin Yost, an American golfer and Phonak hEARo, has won the gold medal for golf at the 2017 Deaflympics.

The 25-year-old won the final round by one point, in a very close competition with Diksha Dagar of India at the 23rd Summer Deaflympics in Turkey on Wednesday. Kaylin’s winning point came at the 19th hole. It was a long day on the golf course for Kaylin. She was three down after the sixth hole, but made her comeback by winning holes seven, eight and nine. 

“The moment of having the putt drop in on the 19th hole was amazing. I was filled with happiness and relief after such a neck-to-neck match,” says Kaylin. “It was a great tough match.”

Posted in Blog Sports

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Golfer Kaylin Yost to compete in 2017 Deaflympics

Phonak hEARo and professional golfer, Kaylin Yost, is one of two American golfers to represent Team USA at the 2017 Deaflympics Summer Games.

Kaylin is almost entirely deaf and her parents found out about her hearing loss when she was two years old. But Kaylin has overcome more than just her hearing loss. She also had two dislocated hips at birth. The doctors told Kaylin she would never be able to walk.

Posted in Blog Hearo Sports

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Deaf comedian D.J. Demers will perform on Conan July 13

D.J. Demers will return to Conan to perform stand-up comedy July 13 on TBS at 11 PM ET (Eastern Time).

D.J. Demers is a deaf comedian from Toronto, Canada and has worn behind-the-ear hearing aids since he was four years old. He has been performing stand-up comedy since 2009 and was featured on America’s Got Talent and also previously featured on the late-night talk show, Conan.

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