Gerry Craft is a first-grade teacher, and has had sensorineural hearing loss in both ears since he was born. Because of this he has been wearing hearing aids for most of his life. Using aids has helped Gerry maintain an active lifestyle – at home, at work, and in church – and has helped him remain an effective communicator in the classroom.
At home Gerry has a large family. This includes his wife, Jenny, who happens to home-school their children. It just so happens that Gerry’s hearing loss is genetic, and two of his children are hearing impaired just as he was, and wear hearing aids themselves. With such a large family to support, Gerry hasn’t been able to afford new hearing aids in over 10 years. Even the ones he has been holding onto were originally financed through Vocational Rehabilitation.
Being a teacher is tough work, and boisterous children in the classroom is anything but easy on the ears. Studies show that preschool teachers work in especially noisy work environments, and this presents yet another challenge for Gerry’s hearing health. That’s why Gerry was thrilled to hear that he had been nominated and chosen to be one of the Campaign’s Give Back recipients this past October.
Gerry’s hearing care provider, audiologist, Jacqueline M. Dannreuther with HearingLife, says, “It is hard to even imagine how Gerry does such a great job teaching these young kids, then goes home to his beautiful family of seven to another challenging listening environment.” Dr. Dannreuther is pleased that such a wonderful parent and teacher has been given the gift of hearing through the Campaign’s Give Back program.