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TMCNet:  Seattle Seahawk Derrick Coleman Makes Life-Changing Impact Day before the Big Game

[February 02, 2014]

Seattle Seahawk Derrick Coleman Makes Life-Changing Impact Day before the Big Game

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

Seattle Seahawk Derrick Coleman - the NFL's first legally deaf offensive player - took time the day before the professional football championship to fit New Yorkers in need with hearing aids. Coleman, along with a host of other celebrities and pro athletes, attended a service mission sponsored by Starkey Hearing Foundation and hosted by the New York Yankees. The running back, who attended the event with his parents and sister, helped fit patients with hearing aids, then received a new pair of hearing devices of his own - just in time to take the field tonight.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION - Seattle Seahawk Derrick Coleman, the first legall ...

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION - Seattle Seahawk Derrick Coleman, the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL, signs a football for Joseph Pon,15, of Queens, NY, after he received free hearing aids at the Starkey Hearing Foundation's mission, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (Photo by Diane Bondareff/Invision for Starkey Hearing Foundation/AP Images)

"I went through all the pain, and I know that other people have too. The fact that I'm here and I didn't make any excuses - that my parents didn't let me - is a blessing," said Coleman. "That's why I like talking to kids and meeting them - to let them know I've been through it too."

Other volunteers at the Feb. 1 event at Yankee Stadium included Garth Brooks, Larry Fitzgerald, A.J. Green, Tommie Harris, Daymond John, Barbara Bush, Alan Kalter, Jay Feely, Andre Roberts and Joe Girardi, who all took time during a busy weekend to help give the gift of hearing to more than 100 people.

The Foundation's team of audiologists, staff and volunteers fit individuals - ranging from 4 to 49 years old - with free digital hearing devices. Each patient was fit with brand new, top-of-the-line hearing aids that were customized to ther specific hearing needs. Recipients also received audio testing, counseling and instruction on how to care for their new devices.

Starkey Hearing Foundation's New York Mission is one of dozens conducted each year by the Foundation, both domestically and internationally. Hearing missions are the primary way Starkey Hearing Foundation realizes its goal: So the World May Hear.

"I'm lucky that my children haven't been through any struggles like that, but I can't imagine what that's like as a parent," said Garth Brooks. "Anything with Starkey Hearing Foundation and New York Yankees is a cool event."

Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to reflect caring and improve the lives of people in need around the world. This hearing mission will help the Foundation fulfill its commitment to provide 100,000 hearing aids to people in need annually. As a member of President' Clinton's Global Initiative, it has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade.

"Hearing is a powerful gift that brings people together, opens doors and empowers individuals to reach their full potential," said Bill Austin, founder of Starkey Hearing Foundation. "The transformation we see in each person is unmistakable. By being able to hear, these people can grow closer to their families, follow their dreams and become an inspiration for others who face similar struggles."

According to Starkey Hearing Foundation, hearing loss is pervasive, affecting one in five Americans. Yet, with the help of a hearing device, hearing loss can often be corrected in a majority of cases, giving individuals the opportunity to better connect with their families, the community and the world around them.

More information about the foundation's work can be found at Starkey Hearing Foundation's website, as well as via Starkey Hearing Foundation's Facebook and Twitter pages.

About Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation uses hearing as a vehicle to reflect caring and change lives around the world. Disabling hearing loss affects more than 360 million people, including 32 million children, worldwide, yet many do not have access to the hearing devices that can help them. Starkey Hearing Foundation fits and gives more than 100,000 hearing aids annually, and as a member of President Clinton's Global Initiative, it has pledged to fit one million hearing aids this decade. In addition to giving the gift of hearing through worldwide hearing missions, Starkey Hearing Foundation promotes hearing health awareness and education through the Listen Carefully campaign and provides hearing instruments to low-income Americans through the Hear Now program. For more information on Starkey Hearing Foundation, visit

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