From: Massapequa, New York
A uniformed member of the New York Police Department, Dan lost his hearing as a result of a line of duty shooting in his late twenties. After the incident, he tried to hide his hearing loss for 12 years and encountered many struggles along the way. Dan recalls what life was like before he addressed his hearing loss.
"I lived a lie," Dan says. "Each and every day I lost a small part of my being. Lost conversations and sounds disconnected me from the world… I became the master of generic replies when I could not understand what was being said. If I had to boil it down to a few words, I would choose: alone, sad, angry, and depressed."
When Dan was promoted to a new position in the NYPD, he realized he could no longer deny his hearing loss. He made the decision to get a hearing aid, and began to reconnect to the sounds of his world and the people he loves.
However, his struggle didn't end there. After 22 years of loyal service, he was forced off the NYPD due to a hearing aid ban. Being a police officer was part of his identity and the only profession he had ever known. With the help of great lawyers from the ADA, Dan fought the ban, and is back to work at the job he loves. What's more, is now the NYPD has hired it's second police officer with hearing aids. Dan has opened up new doors for those with hearing loss who may want to pursue a career with the NYPD.
His own experience with hearing aids has been incredible.
"My three children and beautiful wife have never sounded so wonderful!" says Dan. "The subtle moments, the side bar jokes, the momentary vocalizations like, 'Love ya dad' or 'Can't wait to get out tonight for our date night, Dan' and the hundreds of small moments which brighten our days and bond our relationships are no longer lost. I can only liken it to being colorblind, and one day waking up to see in full HD color!"
Dan is a HearStrong Champion because his great accomplishments and advocacy have introduced the possibility of a new future for those with hearing loss. He is passionate, determined, and never gives up.
"As a hearing disabilities advocate, I am living the change I want to see," says Dan. "I will not stop advocating for the hearing disabled until the negative stigmas and discrimination ends, and until the dignity we are due is delivered to us."
When asked why he believes it's important for individuals to seek treatment for hearing loss, Dan says,
"To borrow a quote from the most unlikely of places, Ferris Bueller; 'Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.'"
Receive word of new champions, special events, and more!
Learn more about hearing loss, hearing aids, cochlear implants and how to live with hearing loss the HearStrong way.
A HearStrong Champion is an individual who refuses to let their hearing loss stand in the way of living a successful, well-rounded life. If this sounds like you or someone you know nominate them today!
The HearStrong Foundation depends on donations large and small from people like you who are passionate about hearing loss and the individuals affected by it.
Are you a HearStrong Champion who is passionate about educating others about the importance of taking control of their hearing health?
Click here to access exclusive tools to support your community outreach efforts.