Seattle Native's Inspirational Hearing Health Story Wins $25,000 from Phonak

Warrenville, Illinois

Paige Stringer is the winner of the Art of the Story & Phonak Healthy Hearing contest.  

Paige Stringer, Founder & Executive Director of The Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss, is a true inspiration. She was born with profound hearing loss and has made it her life mission to help others who are also hearing impaired. Her amazing story was chosen as the winner of the Art of the Story & Phonak Healthy Hearing contest, which sought out stories about life-changing and inspirational experiences that came with hearing loss.  

"I am honored to have been selected as the winner of this contest," said Stringer. "I look forward to working with Austin and his creative talents to promote the human potential that can be realized when early identification, appropriate hearing technology and early educational support are in place for young children with hearing loss, no matter where in the world they live. I hope that through initiatives like this, more awareness will be brought to the global issue of hearing loss."

The contest, which launched in December 2012, was inspired by movie producer Austin Chapman's personal hearing health story. Chapman was born profoundly deaf, but in August 2012, he was fitted with a Phonak hearing aid that allowed him to clearly hear and understand music for the first time in his life. This experience inspired Chapman to partner with Phonak to seek out others to tell similar stories about their own life-changing experience that came with hearing - for the first time or again.

"After personally experiencing something so life changing, I wanted to hear other people's hearing health stories," said Chapman. "I was so inspired by all of the submissions, but Paige's story stood out because she has truly dedicated her life to the hearing health cause."

Stringer's entry was one of many inspiring stories, but her entry clearly stood out. "Paige's story resonated with us because she has not only overcome challenges with her own hearing loss, but initiated this ambitious endeavor on a global scale that has already helped so many hearing-impaired children in developing countries. Her story is truly inspirational to all, and we can't wait to see how Austin captures her brilliant spirit and commitment on film," said Kimberly Rawn, Senior Manager of Marketing Communications at Phonak.

Each contest entry was carefully evaluated according to three criteria: 1) How compelling the story is; 2) How it communicates a need to address hearing health; 3) How positive/uplifting the story is. She will receive a $25,000 prize from Phonak, and her winning story will be turned into a short film by Chapman. The film will be featured on and later this year.

More than 38 million people in the U.S. are affected by some degree of hearing loss, and only 35 percent are above the age of 64. In fact, there are close to six million people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 44 with hearing loss. In short, hearing loss affects people of all age groups, including:

  • 3 in 10 people over age 60
  • 1 in 6 baby boomers (ages 41-59)
  • 1 in 14 Generation Xers (ages 29-40)
  • At least 1.4 million children (18 or younger)
  • An estimated 3 in 1,000 infants

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