Home Grown Heroes
In the search for SuperHEARoes doing valuable work, we don’t have to go far..
The important work of advocates based here in South Africa is something to be proud of! Each of these individuals; is working in their own unique capacity and their stories and perseverance is inspiring! This is Part One of Two, so stay tuned to read about five more Homegrown Heroes.
Fanie Du Toit is a frontline fighter for all SuperHEARoes:
He advocates for legislated inclusion and equal access for those who are differently-abled. He serves as the manager of Public Education and Awareness at the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities here in South Africa.
Through his role as an educator he leads courses on various topics related to hearing impairment such as the impact of hearing loss, independence, and taking responsibility. He has shared with a DVD entitled ‘I have a Dream’ regarding losing his hearing over 29 years ago and his journey before and after receiving bilateral Cochlear Implants in 2011. He is actively educating, advocating, and speaking about his struggle which makes our community lucky to have him! Preview his DVD here
Alan Hook is a cycling SuperHEARo:
He founded Gears4Ears, an annual cycle challenge; which aim is to raise awareness of hearing impairment and CI technology. After receiving a Cochlear Implant himself he wanted to enable this possibility for others.
Gears4Ears raises money to assist those without the financial means to support a CI implant and to insure that those with implants are able to receive the necessary services which enables their implantation to be a success.
You can support this effort by participating in the cycle challenge, supporting someone who is taking part, getting involved with their fundraising efforts, or sporting one of their awesome cycle shirts.
Julia Stander is an extraordinary athlete and gold medal SuperHEARo:
Born deaf, she credits her Cochlear Implant with not only increasing the frequencies which she can hear but helping create the opportunity to compete in the South African Underwater Hockey Team which won gold at the World Championship in 2015.
She was also honoured to be named Mossel Bay Sportswoman of the year. Underwater hockey is an extremely physically demanding sport which requires impressive dedication and perseverance, something Julia has honed in her determination not to be held back by hearing loss. Her tenacity and optimism makes her an inspirational role model.
Currently, she is tackling new challenges at Stellenbosch University and she has this advice for others in the thick of it “To shortly sum it up, always be positive, think positive. Never stop trying”
Tracy Duncan is a SuperHEARo Blogger:
More commonly known as Bionic Tracy; the name she goes by to readers of her popular online blog. She is SuperHEARo writing to put her knowledge of hearing loss and receiving a Cochlear Implant in 2015 out onto the internet for everyone.
She writes articulately and tackles pertinent issues relating to her first hand journey such as Cochlear Confidence. She is witty and enjoyable to read.
Carel du Toit a SuperHEARo Surgeon & More:
As an ENT surgeon he made a massive difference when he founded the Carel du Toit Centre in the Cape.
The vision of these schools is “To teach deaf children to speak so that they can function optimally in a hearing world” and in this pursuit they employ specialized education methods which support language acquisition.
They also work closely with Tygerberg Hospital’s Cochlear Implant Team. In 1988 Mr. Van der Merwe, a SuperHEARo father of a student, formed the Carel du Toit Trust – a registered nonprofit organization to ensure the important work of these centers could be carried out.
Disability does not discriminate & neither does the Carel du Toit Centre, so learner fees are based on a family’s income so as to make the centre’s mission available across the economic spectrum.
If you are keen to sponsor a child or get involved; contact their offices or check out their online wish list.
Together We Are Stronger!
The stories may be different but SuperHEARoes share the same spirit! They are individuals who have fought back against being isolated by hearing loss and impairment. No matter which Super Powers they use in the fight; athletics, the law, education, fundraising, writing, or speaking out they have all chosen to engage in raising awareness of hearing loss & appreciation of the ability to hear.
Lighting the Way
Don’t lose sight of these and other remarkable SuperHEARoes and Sidekicks already braving the spotlight; and use their lights to help shine the way towards a brighter future for you, your loved one, and all those who experience Life with hearing impairment.
Big appreciation to all these SuperHEARoes leading the way! Consider supporting some of these SuperHEARo causes or just share your story, your successes and your setbacks and become part of the community!
For any information or advice, please call our offices on 011 667 6243