My Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Fundraising Page!
Hometown: Powell, Ohio
Age on Race Day: 8
Diagnosis: Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Lizzie was diagnosed with bilateral hearing loss at birth, and began wearing hearing aids when she was six months old. Subsequently, Lizzie was diagnosed with enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA). Lizzie’s family learned that because of this, she could lose even more of her hearing at any time, for no discernable reason.
Lizzie’s hearing began to decline significantly in the Spring of 2014, and her family noticed she was not responding to sound as she had before. Extensive evaluations with her medical team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital revealed that Lizzie was not receiving enough information from her hearing aids. As a result, she became a candidate for a cochlear implant.
In February 2015, Lizzie had her first cochlear implant surgery, and her second implant surgery in her other ear in December 2016. A cochlear implant is different from a hearing aid in that it does not make sounds louder. Rather, the device is designed to send impulses directly to the auditory nerve, which then carries sound signals to the brain.
With her cochlear implants, Lizzie has demonstrated tremendous progress in both receptive and expressive communication. She is above-average with her speech, vocabulary and enunciation as compared to hear hearing peers and doing great academically in her mainstream first-grade class.
“We are constantly impressed with how Lizzie's various caregivers work as a team to meet her needs. It is a true collaborative effort, and everybody works together for Lizzie’s wellbeing. Our child is deaf, and she has many friends with hearing loss. However, because of the team at Nationwide Children’s, Lizzie can express herself vocally and also interact with her hearing peers. As parents, we get to experience Lizzie's joy at learning new words and making new friends. NCH has opened so many doors for our daughter, and we are incredibly grateful,” says Lizzie’s father, Dan.
The Hearing Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers a multidisciplinary team approach to supporting patients and families navigating this process. The program’s mission is to provide families with evidence-based hearing and language care and lead advancements in research, education and training so that all children can achieve their full potential.
Today, eight-year-old Lizzie likes American Girl, gymnastics, basketball, music and dancing. Lizzie and her competition dance team even took second place at a recent competition! She also loves making her own videos and started her own YouTube channel a few years ago.
Lizzie will be excitedly cheering on all the participants who pass through her mile on race day of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon. In Lizzie’s words, she cannot wait to “help other kids with their hearing.”
Help kids like Lizzie by making a donation today!
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