A Chance By David Cluff

When I think about my parents and their decision to get my first Cochlear Implant, I think of what they went through to get me one. My parents saw that I wanted to hear again andthey did what they thought was best. Most people think that my parents were taking my agency away to choose but rather they were giving me a chance to grow, to laugh and enjoy the same sounds they hear.

 Each parent is different and we can't judge them because we don't know their child or their circumstances. I have seen families who are being judged by another person and it ends up ruining their relationship. In today's world we are often judging rather than uplifting and supporting one another.

Of course, at any time I can take my Cochlear Implants off and leave them behind.  It is sometimes easy to just take them off and follow the crowd but it shows courage to stand out of the crowd. I chose to live the best of both worlds and try something extraordinary. To do something extraordinary starts by small and simple things. The thought to build deafteens.org was a simple idea which took other simple steps which turned into something extraordinary.

One thing I would like to say to people that are hearing. It really bugs me, when hearing people come up to me and say.."I don't like Cochlear Implants and I don't think the deaf should have them." It breaks my heart because to me that is saying--"I don't want you to be able to talk to me, hear the sounds I enjoy or hear your parents voice."  I had two choices-to help this person understand or take offense. I can't change their mind but I can enlighten them with what I know. I am often humbled by these experiences and they give me a chance to understand what they are thinking and how I can better help others.

I am forever grateful to my parents who gave me a chance.

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