Alyssa DeFazio & Abby
Hello, my name is Alyssa DeFazio. I am a junior 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 was having a very difficult time in college because I could not wake up for classes. A missed quiz or test meant that I would receive a 0 because the absence was not excused. I had to rely on others to awaken me and this was not always reliable.
Now, NEADS has provided me with ABBY!!! She is a dream come true!! She awakens me every morning, alerts me to smoke alarms, phones ringing, dropped keys, someone calling my name. She does all this for me and is also a wonderful best friend :-). 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!!