A Yorktown family will be among hundreds of others taking part in a walkathon to aid the deaf community. M.J. Diaz is a second-grader who is helping to raise funds for research on hearing loss. His mom, Eileen Solla-Diaz, is a member of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and and treasurer for the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell NY).
On their Website, the Diaz family says: “We have received support with open arms from professionals in the field: doctors, audiologist, speech pathologist, parents of hearing impaired and deaf children and from family and friends. M.J. is currently a fantastic 2nd grader who is excels in math and sports. He loves his friends and is very vocal telling people who ask about this implants that they “help him hear.”
M.J. has a bilateral profound hearing loss and wears bilateral cochlear implants.
Here’s the announcement for the event this weekend:
Is someone you know or love affected by hearing loss? More than a thousand New Yorkers from the five boroughs and Long Island will gather for the fifth annual NYC Walk4Hearing on Sunday, September 30, 2012 in New York City’s Riverside Park. Organized by the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) Manhattan Chapter, the event raises awareness of the challenges facing 36 million Americans with hearing loss and their families. Proceeds support HLAA’s mission to educate, provide support services, and advocate for people with hearing loss.
“Hearing loss as a public health issue is largely misunderstood and remains under the radar screen,” says Suzanne D’Amico, NYC Walk Chair, whose 10-year-old daughter has moderately severe hearing loss. “It’s important to get the word out that this complex condition affects people of all ages and impacts all aspects of everyday life,” she continues. “We’re thrilled that so many families of children with hearing loss and hundreds of amazing walkers and volunteers are joining this important cause. We’re also introducing groundbreaking technology to help people wearing hearing aids.”
The event will take place on Sunday, September 30, in Riverside Park, starting at West 97th Street and Riverside Drive and following a 5k (3.1-mile) route. Walkers benefit from state-of-the-art technology such as captioned announcements before and during the event that will be streamed to smartphones. A new looping system that is being installed in public places to enable people wearing hearing aids to hear announcements will be showcased. Walk festivities include the Cheer New York Cheerleaders, children’s entertainment, snacks, giveaways, free hearing screenings, prizes, and more.
Registration begins at 9am and the Walk starts at 10am. For more information and to pre-register, visit www.walk4hearing.org. Walk teams and individual walkers from Metro area are welcome. Same-day registration is also available.
Marcus “M.J.” Diaz
The Diaz Family — Jay, Eileen, M.J. and Devin Diaz