Hello, my name is Alyssa DeFazio. I am a sophomore in college at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT/NTID), in Rochester, New York. I have been hearing impaired my entire life and now, I wear two cochlear implants. I received one in July 2004 and the other in July 2010. When I wear both of my implants, I function very well in the hearing world and can hear almost everything. However, when I take them off, such as when I sleep or shower, I cannot hear anything at all. It is completely silent in my ears; I cannot hear even a sound, peep, or beep. When I am sleeping, I go into a deep deep sleep and am unable to wake up to alarms clocks, even with vibration. Even three vibrating alarm clocks do not wake me! I even sleep through fire alarms! This really frightens me and my family. Even with my cochlear implants, I still am unaware of sounds like keys dropping or cars approaching in parking lots.
I am having a very difficult time in college because I cannot wake up for classes. A missed quiz or test means I receive a 0 because the absence is not excused. I have to rely on others to awaken me and this is not always reliable.
In my dreams, a service dog would be very beneficial for me. It will help me to become more successful and independent out in the world. I absolutely love animals and know that a specially trained hearing service dog would be the answer to my difficulties. The average amount of money to train a NEADS service dog is over $25,000. I have been given a goal of raising $9,500 for NEADS to help defray the cost of my dog. Please help me out with a tax-deductible donation. Any amount is greatly appreciated!!