Twelve-year-old Natalie Johnson permanently lost all hearing in her left ear as the result of a trampoline accident in June 2016. Less than a year later, she was out wearing a bright purple t-shirt with Mickey Mouse ears running the Hear We Go 5K with family and friends on the grounds of the Nemours Estate. In fact Natalie’s team, with dozens of friends from P.S. DuPont Middle School and teammates from the Wilmington Aquatic Club, was the largest team in this year’s race.
“Natalie has been handling her loss like a champ, and the Audiology team at Nemours has been instrumental in getting her back on the road to her new normal,” said mom Susan Johnson. Natalie was subsequently diagnosed as having been born with a condition known as Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct Syndrome with trauma related hearing loss.
Hundreds of families with children who suffer mild or profound hearing loss as well as health professionals and researchers participated in the 9th annual Hear We Go 5K and Family Fun Day on Sunday, May 7th. Groups such as Team Lebano, Beana’s Bunch, Brennan’s Buddies proudly displayed the name of the child they were running or walking for. And a large group of speech pathology students from the University of Delaware, who intern at the hospital, also participated in the run.
The estate is next to A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children, where many of the children who participated in the walk/run are being treated. And while the day was overcast, the setting was still exceptional as runners and walkers traversed through wooded areas and beautiful formal French gardens.
The race benefited programs and services at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children related to hearing loss and hearing conservation in children.