“Having a hearing dog allows you to step into a different world”
Posted by Matt Sadler
Jocelyne Tack’s hearing dogs have provided her with immeasurable support over the years. Now, they’ve inspired her to train for the London Marathon to raise money to help another deaf person get a hearing dog.
Jocelyne, who works as a civil servant for the RAF, tells her story:
“I was born with hearing loss and my condition deteriorated throughout my life, leaving me with a Severe level of deafness.
“When I left home to get married, I no longer had my family to rely on and my husband worked odd hours on occasions. I had always relied on others around me to help out and even though I wore hearing aids, people don’t notice them and assume you are being ignorant as you did not hear them.
“My hearing loss affected my confidence, particularly when I was out in public. Deafness is an invisible disability. It can completely knock your confidence and cause anxiety, low moods and isolation. I used to feel vulnerable, so would avoid going anywhere on my own. I didn’t even feel safe going on simple shopping trips.
“I had my first hearing dog, Bruno, just before my first child was born and he gave me huge confidence in alerting me to sounds like the smoke alarm and baby alarm, for example, as I was on my own with a new-born child and my husband was at work. When my children started school, my hearing dog became a part of their class and raised awareness that their mummy’s hearing wasn’t very good and that these were special dogs that could go into shops, doctors and play areas.
“When Bruno passed away, his death not only affected me and my family, but all those who had come into contact with us.
“I have had four hearing dogs in the past 24 years – Bruno, Jet, Bass and now Kennedy. Bass sadly passed away very unexpectedly, and I was left without an assistance dog for a period of time, while Hearing Dogs found me another suitable match. This period really made me realise how much I relied on them. They are so important for me as my ears, but also as part of my family.
“I’m now raising money to help another deaf person get a hearing dog, by running in three big events.
“I started running as a hobby a few years ago, to keep fit, and started training properly fairly recently after getting a ballot place for the London Marathon. I’m now running a series of events, including the Great North Run and the Athens Marathon as part of my training for the London Marathon, to raise money for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
“As well as keeping myself fit physically, running also helps clear my mind, especially if I’ve had a stressful or depressing day. I’ve found that I have admired gardens, front doors, cars (which has helped when trying to decide on a new car) and Christmas decorations (my favourite time!).
“Having a hearing dog allows you to step into a different world. They’ve given me so much strength and confidence. I feel very privileged to have had mine and if I can raise some money through running these running these three events and help someone else to receive their own hearing dog, I will feel very proud to do so. Hearing dogs can and help deaf people overcome many of the challenges that deafness brings.”
To donate to Jocelyne’s charity run and help change the life of a deaf person, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jocelyne-tack2.
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