April-Lynn Forest

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I am a 37 year old late deafened adult.  In 2006 I started having trouble with my hearing in both ears and in December of that year I got my first pair of hearing aids.  Over the next 9 months my hearing loss became very progressive and I started having vertigo and balance issues as well.  Nothing in life could have prepared me for what I was going through or how it was going to impact my life as I knew it.  I didn’t know how to live in the world when I could hardly make out what people were saying and it lead to a lot of isolation and anxiety.  It has been a hard and emotional journey figuring out how to start my life over as a late deafened adult because it changed absolutely every aspect of my life.  Fast forward 9 years to 2015 and I am proud to say that despite my challenges, I have come a long way.  

I was aware of NEADS and had considered applying for a hearing dog but wasn’t sure I really needed one because I get by ok with lip reading and my hearing aids. However, without hearing aids I can not hear anything.  It wasn’t until after attending the NEADS Spring 2015 Graduation that I finally decided to put in my application.  Four of the graduates had been paired with hearing dogs and listening to their stories of how their life had changed after being matched with their dog resonated so deeply with me.  I cried because it made me realize how much I had been missing out on and how much I had put off things in my life. By the end of that day I became filled with hope that a hearing dog could change those things for me.  Please help my journey by donating!