Sophie's Story

Sophie’s parents learned she had hearing loss a few weeks after she was born. Scared and in need of information and support, they sought the help of Children’s National. They wanted Sophie to get the best possible care. 

She received her first hearing aids at Children’s National when she was 5 weeks old, along with “fantastic care and support from the Children’s National audiologists,” says Sophie’s mom.

It was imperative for Sophie to receive immediate assistance to gain access to sound: when infants cannot hear the full range of speech sounds, their opportunities of learning speech and reflecting their thoughts by talking begin to diminish.

Sophie continued wearing a hearing aid on one ear but then began the complicated journey of receiving a cochlear implant for the other ear. Her cochlear implant was surgically implanted when she was 10 months old, but having a cochlear implant is a lifelong commitment. Families must follow special protocols both before and after their child receives cochlear implants to ensure their success, and Sophie has received extensive therapy in order to attend mainstream school.

Now 14, Sophie actively supports other Children’s National families.

“Many families struggle to navigate the implant process, and as a result, lose the opportunity to benefit from a cochlear implant,” Sophie said. “I want to help make a difference in these families’ lives.”

Inspired by her love for baking, she convened friends and family for a bake-a-thon in which she baked for 12 hours straight to benefit Children’s National.  She made more than 550 cookies and raised nearly $12,000 through pledges of support and by selling the cookies at school and to loved ones.

“I felt so proud and empowered knowing that what I was doing was going to make a change for other families,” Sophie said.