Local is Lekker
Here in South Africa, we are very fortunate to have so many homegrown SuperHEARoes forging ahead and leading the way in the struggle for the HearingLoss Community to be recognized, valued, included and accepted.
Their honesty and diligent work helps make the path a little bit easier for those to follow and there is beauty in each of their stories. Make sure you read Highlighting South African SuperHEARoes Part One if you haven’t yet.
Janie Erasmus is a SuperHEARo with a crown:
Ever since winning Miss Deaf South Africa, The beauty who was diagnosed with severe to profound deafness at the age of eight months has since received cochlear implants. Janie is resolute to not let hearing impairment keep her from using her gifts. She attended a Carel du Toit pre-school and later overcame significant obstacles to receive her education.
At present she is actively involved in charity work to fund cochlear implants for those who cannot afford them. She uses her visibility and platform as Miss. Deaf SA to bring awareness to challenges affecting those who have a hearing impairment.
Her positive message to those with hearing disabilities is “Do not just accept that you cannot hear – ask for help, do something, start young! Help and support each other and be part of the greater community.”
To hearing people she says “I am deaf but actually I am no different to you – I may have a different challenge than what you may face but we are all human and need to support each other. You can be my ears and I will be your eyes when you need me.”
Her dream is the stuff true SuperHEARoes are made of “I dream of making a difference to the lives of many people and to be remembered as the person who brought hearing- and deaf people closer to each other.” Read the full interview by clicking here.
Nicoleen and Dwyne Van der Merwe both SuperHEARo Parents:
Jordan’s parents became SuperHEARoes in 2015 raising awareness about hearing impairment when they went public with their request for help in funding a cochlear implant for their son, Jordan. Nicoleen reported that their son who was born healthy but prematurely at thirty five weeks; struggled with ear infections and stopped responding to sounds at six months. Despite numerous interventions including an unsuccessful bid to insert grommets, little Jordan suffered the loss of his hearing. When doctors recommended a cochlear implant, this family stepped out into the spotlight by speaking publicly about their experience, talking to institutions and popular radio shows in a passionate endeavor to raise the needed funds to cover Jordan’s surgery. Updates on their story can be found on on there Facebook page
“Jordan se’ “mamma”. Enige ouer sal weet hoe special hierdie oomblik is wanneer jou baba jou op “naam” begin roep en net die woordjie “mamma” kan sê. Dit is vir ons baie special en deel graag hierdie oomblik met julle. Om te dink ons seuntjie was heeltemal doof kon nie ons stemme hoor nie en nou begin praat, what a miracle. BAIE DANKIE vir almal se ondersteuning, donasies, harde werk, gebed, faith and believe ons wardeur dit oneindiglik baie!!! Kindness makes the blind see and the deaf hear.”
Michelle Sparks SuperHEARo Advocate:
Michelle is a South African woman who has spoken out confidently about her “Life changing experience” of receiving a cochlear implant. In the 1980’s, after a co-worker made an off-hand comment regarding her lack of hearing she decided to get tested, only to be told she had no hearing in her left ear. Without a clear reason for this she was told to take care of her right ear in which the hearing was still fine. Soon after, while sitting at her daughter’s wedding reception, she realized that she could not hear the speeches. Upon returning to her doctor she was told she was losing the hearing in her right ear. Traditional medicine was ineffective in dealing with a myriad of health issues she was facing. After an encounter with an alternative medicine practitioner she credits homeopathy with helping her get healthy. By the time she was well, her hearing was gone but she qualified as a cochlear implant recipient.
She is now an enthusiastic SuperHEARo who gives glowing accolades about Life with a CI and she attributes her implant with the best hearing of her life and saving her relationship with her spouse saying “It’s a miracle, it’s so amazing because who gets second chances in life? This is a second chance and it’s amazing!”
Gaynor Young a SuperHEARo Actress, Play-Write & Motivational Speaker:
Gaynor Young is a remarkable actress and motivational speaker who has boldly shared the story of her traumatic accident which robbed her of her hearing and more! Hence, she had a very long road before becoming a cochlear implant recipient. She has written a book called ‘My Plunge To Fame’ and even a one woman stage play regarding her life story. She blogs actively and is a very inspirational SuperHEARo indeed! Click here to view her writings.
The South African playwright, Athol Fugard wrote, ‘If you have lately been doubting the capacity of the human spirit to overcome calamitous misfortune, I urge you to read Gaynor Young’s story. It will restore your faith’.
SuperHEARoes on the Same Team:
SuperHEARoes come in many shapes and sizes all across the age spectrum. What they share is a fierce determination not to be beaten by hearing loss which affects either themselves or someone they love.
Southern ENT knows that it can be challenging work being in the spotlight. We provide sidekick and SuperHEARo support when the going gets tough and can be trusted to be here when you need us.
We work to ensure you have the latest in world class Cochlear Technology and accessories in South Africa.
Thanks to all these stellar SuperHEARoes already fighting for a better world for those who live with hearing impairments. Become part of the community, contact Southern ENT today!
For any information or advice, please call our offices on 011 667 6243