Hearing loss changemaker Eleonora Simonyan

Eleonora Simonyan Law Student Russia

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I was just two years old when I lost my hearing after a viral infection. It wasn’t the start to childhood that my parents had expected for me, but with their love and support I’m achieving more than anyone had wished for and my life is full of color.  

My road to this point wasn’t easy. I now hear with a cochlear implant but in the late 1990s cochlear implants were still new technology in Russia so weren’t available like they are now. My uncle paid for my surgery, which began my long journey to learn to hear again. 

I’ve always felt blessed to have such a wonderful family, but when I was a child, I simply wished to be like my friends. I would close my eyes, imagine that my hearing had returned, and dream about a different life.  

I soon realized that wishing for things that would never be would only hold me back. Eventually I learned to accept my deafness, embraced my cochlear implant, and decided to live a life that would also inspire others.  

I started dancing at age seven, something that I still love. But my real passion is for communications. I’m excited to be studying to become a lawyer and I speak three languages. I also use my experience of growing up with hearing loss to write a blog, volunteer, and speak to parents of deaf children about their family’s fears, problems, and hopes as they venture on a journey to hearing. 

Take my advice: Even if you don’t have natural hearing, you can be successful. Unleash your potential by working hard, holding your head high, and taking the chances that technology offers if that’s right for you.”