Facebook Twitter YouTube E-mail RSS

Hitting a Home Run for Hearing!

Each year 12,000 babies in the US are born with hearing loss. A “bionic ear” or cochlear implant (CI) would allow many to join the hearing world. Jacob Landis, a CI recipient, is riding to all 30 baseball stadiums to raise money for those who could benefit from a CI but cannot afford one.

Jacob’s Story

jacobs-story-long

About Jacob Landis, Annapolis, MD

When Jacob was two, his mother felt his speech development was slow and took him for his first hearing test. Over the next three years, Jacob’s hearing continued to deteriorate and he was fitted with his first hearing aids in kindergarten. By fourth grade, hearing aids were no longer helping Jacob hear. A good student reading above grade level and a math whiz, Jacob became increasingly frustrated, angry and withdrawn. He quit playing the team sports he loved, baseball and soccer. One evening Jacob burst into tears when he saw his sister and brother running to answer the telephone and realized he could no longer hear it ring.

When his parents began taking him to John Hopkins Hospital to determine whether or not cochlear implants would work for him, Jacob had already endured over 600 appointments with ENT doctors, audiologists and other specialists in his short lifetime. In June 1999 when he was 10 years old, Jacob had cochlear implant surgery. The first sounds Jacob heard was his dad’s voice asking “Jake, what does it sound like?”

Jacob went on to attend middle school, high school and college as a regular student. He earned an associate degree from Anne Arundel Community College and has attended classes at the University of Maryland. Jacob now works full time in the audible world as he decides how he will further his college education.

Since his CI, Jacob has come to believe his deafness has a special purpose. He is fully aware of the difference CI has made in his life and is profoundly grateful. Over the years, Jacob has met with hundreds of cochlear implant candidates and their families. He has spoken at medical conferences and to college engineering students about the designing of devices for those with special needs.

In recent years, Jacob has become a serious baseball fan. A season ticket holder with the Baltimore Orioles, Jacob usually attends between 20 & 30 games a year. He has also become an avid and regular bicyclist. Although a licensed driver, Jacob now rides to school, to work, for exercise and to many of the Orioles ballgames in Baltimore 30 miles from home.

In October 2012, Jacob decided to combine his three passions—baseball, cycling and helping the hearing impaired–and ride to all 30 baseball stadiums to raise money for those who would benefit from cochlear implants but cannot afford it.