What inspires you?
For Lydia, a first year graduate student in the CUNY doctorate in audiology program, it was her father’s journey with hearing loss that influenced her career path.
In 2004, Lydia’s father Damon was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis II (NF II), after physicians discovered tumors throughout his body – the largest being a grapefruit-sized mass on his spine.
After removing the tumor on his spine, an MRI revealed two tumors growing on his right and left auditory nerves. Damon opted for laser surgery in both ears to remove the tumors, leaving him with 15-20% hearing in his left ear and approximately 80% in his right ear. He has since been fitted with behind-the-ear hearing aids, which have benefitted him greatly.
Damon says, “It would be a real struggle at work if I didn’t have hearing aids. Luckily, I am able to adjust the volume throughout the day, and I work on the phone often so I can use my right ear.”
He’s found that large social gatherings present the biggest hearing challenges. He often has to lip-read in order to follow conversations in noisy environments, a common problem for people with hearing loss.
Lydia’s commitment to hearing health led her to participate in and raise funds for the New York City Walk4Hearing in September 2013. She says she, “enjoyed seeing people of all ages come together to support those in the New York City community with hearing loss.”
Inspired by the team of physicians and audiologists who provided her father with such excellent care, Lydia is eager to finish her education and share her passion for helping people like her father.