February 2022 Recipient story

February 2022 Recipient story

Joel Lance describes his excitement to hear his grandson again.

What do/did you do for a living?

JL: Die casting machine setup and operator for 30+ years

What are your favorite hobbies/pastimes?

JL: Spending time with my 2-year-old grandson, gardening, and classic cars.

How and when did you begin experiencing hearing loss? 

JL: Working in a machine shop for the majority of my life is the main cause. I always wore appropriate ear protection, but the machines were constantly running and at a very loud volume. I began having a lot of trouble hearing in my early 50’s because of this.

How has hearing loss impacted your life?

JL: The way it makes daily events difficult is a big struggle. Feeling left out of conversations because you are unable to hear what people are saying is a very isolating feeling as well. Phone conversations are hard because you can’t see people’s mouths and expressions to be able to gain a sense of what they are saying. Not being able to hear while checking out at a store or asking someone for assistance somewhere, or ordering food is all a struggle. The hardest part of it all has been not being able to hear my grandson when he’s talking to me and trying to play and I can’t hear what he’s saying. It frustrates both of us and honestly breaks my heart for him to think I’m not listening to what he is saying.

How do you think having hearing aids will impact your daily life and life in the future?

JL: Being able to hear what is going on around me will be absolutely life-changing. To not have to constantly ask people to repeat themselves or just nod in agreement when I still can’t hear what they’ve said will make me feel more confident in everything I do. Even the simple things of not having to have a headset connected to the TV in order to watch something will feel more freeing. But the thing that I am looking most forward to is hearing all the giggles and silly sounds and things my grandson does that I just can’t hear right now.

How did you find out about the Hearing Aid Project, and what do you want people to know about it?

JL: My daughter knew how much not being able to hear upset me. She also knew that with me being on a low fixed income, there was no way I could afford a set of hearing aids since it is not something Medicare covers. She began researching different programs online and came across the Hearing Aid Project. We got all the documents together and submitted them in and were so overwhelmed with joy when we found out I had been approved. The Hearing Aid Project has completely changed my life with this opportunity. There is no way I would be able to afford hearing aids without this program. We really felt hopeless because of the lack of programs locally and because of the huge cost of hearing aids. I will forever be in debt to this program and the change it has made in my and my family’s life. Unfortunately, the world is not set up for hearing impaired people. So, to navigate everyday life being able to hear what’s going on around me will be incredible.