FROM DEAF TO HEARING, FROM SHY TO MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKING, FROM TEARS TO JOY. DAVID CLUFF SHARES HIS STORY TO ALL THOSE THAT WILL AND LISTEN.

March 12, 2012

Living the Dream...

This will be my last post before I leave in a few weeks. I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for helping me live my dreams! These past few years have been amazing and a huge blessing to me. I was asked by Cochlear Implant Online to send my story in for them to share. The story I submitted was titled "Living the Dream" and after it was published, on Sunday, I can now share it with my readers.
 
  When I lost my hearing, at the age of six, I often found myself dreaming about hearing sounds, my mother playing the piano or my dad working with his drill gun in the garage. Each day I longed more and more to hear those sounds again.  About six months after my hearing loss, I was on a journey to living my dream. I got my first cochlear implant in 1999 and one of my first sounds was footsteps. Now, 12 years later, I am living the dream each and every day. Not only was I dreaming about hearing but I also started dreaming about hearing with both of my ears. I then got a 2nd cochlear implant, at age 14, and that was a huge turning point in my life and a dream come true.
  The journey getting to this point was not easy. It was a journey of faith, endurance, growth and trust. Each day held challenges, joy and laughter. At a very young age, I had to learn how to hear with my heart. After turning on my first implant, I just wanted to enjoy every sound and the voices of my family. When my 2nd implant turned on, I had a burning desire or dream to help others who are like me. After finding my voice, I have been able to help teens and their families in ways doctors could not. When I realized that there are many more teens and families around the world that could use this kind of support, I created deafteens.org for my Eagle Scout project. Many teens around the world got to help make this website become a reality. I love to see the transformation in parents' eyes when they see that there is hope for their young child and teens to realize that they are not alone.
  I have found that challenges can be blessings and that it is okay to laugh! My story never ends but a continuation of who I am. I love taking photos and capturing the world around me. Being deaf makes me stretch beyond my comfort zone and makes me work harder to reach for my dreams.
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Stay tuned for David's Mission Blog in the coming weeks!

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