In an effort to give back to the community, we ran our annual essay contest in December to give away a pair of Oticon premium hearing aids to someone in need who has hearing loss. Choosing a winner from among the many worthy nominees is always difficult, with this year being one the most challenging. After much deliberation, we named Suzanne Walker as the lucky recipient of new hearing aids.
A Family Connection
Suzanne’s grandchildren, Vianna and Grant, nominated her for consideration in the annual Gift of Hearing contest. Both grandchildren, as well as their father, wear hearing aids and have been patients of Decibel Hearing Services for many years, so they keenly understand the struggles with hearing loss and the benefits of hearing aids.
One of the many things the grandchildren wanted to highlight was their grandmother’s commitment to serving the community and their hope that she would be recognized for her contributions. Suzanne is a member and has served as membership chair of Thousand Oaks Women’s Club, which raises money for local charities. In addition, she participates in Soroptimist International of Conejo Valley and is the current chair for the Live Your Dream Awards. This award provides financial assistance for education to women seeking to improve their lives while supporting their family. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suzanne volunteered as a receptionist for Many Mansions, an organization that provides affordable housing for low-income residents with onsite programs including job training, tutoring and teen clubs. She has also volunteered as an usher for the Bank of America Performing Arts Center.
Vianna and Grant said their grandmother had started wearing hearing aids a while ago, so when the two were both diagnosed with hearing loss, Suzanne was uniquely positioned to be supportive and empathetic. She has stayed active in encouraging family and friends to seek audiological support when needed and recognizes how lonely and quiet the world can be without the benefit of hearing aids. Unfortunately, Suzanne’s generous and giving spirit was taken advantage of and caused financial challenges that found her wearing hearing aids that no longer met her needs. Because Suzanne’s grandchildren and their parents understood the importance and benefits of new hearing aid technology, they believed she was an excellent nominee to enjoy this wonderful gift—we couldn’t agree more.
Congratulations Suzanne, and thank you for writing the letter, Vianna and Grant!