Grandpa Leslie Hansen
(Written by Sherri) He and Grandma Hansen had 5 children, all of whom are hearing impaired. Grandpa Hansen was loved by us all and I think each of us grandchildren would tell you that every time you saw Grandpa, he squeezed us until we squealed! I think he did that because we were loud and he could hear us then! Even with hearing aids I don’t remember him ever hearing well, I don’t know that anyone remembers exactly how old he was when he lost his hearing, but I do have one of his hearing aids that he got in the 1950’s, an old body aid. He tried them all, the body aid, the glasses with hearing aids attached and finally full shell in the ear hearing aids. Grandpa passed away in 1974 at the age of 62.
Photo: Grandpa Hansen with Sherri and brother John in 1968.
Grandma Marguerite Hansen
(Written by Norma Lee) Grandma Hansen joined the hearing impaired later in her life…her daughter Norma Lee wanted to share this story…“My mom had great hearing until the later years of her life. She was incredibly understanding with her being the only one in our family not hearing impaired. I’ll never forget when she finally got her hearing aids and was complaining about “how loud everything was” and wanted to take them out. I reminded her of what she used to tell me. “put them in and leave them in or you won’t ever get used to wearing them”. She looked at me with that funny little grin and smirk on her face she always got when we “outsmarted” her and said “You’re right, I need to wear them”. She did however, need some adjustments and then grew to love her hearing aids, just like the rest of us and wouldn’t go without them.” I did notice though that she was sensitive to loud noises, which I believe is due a lot to living alone and not used to being around little children and the day to day noises going on in a busy family life. Grandma lived to be 89, she got her GED at the age of 80, was in a horrible car accident in her early 80’s but was very steadfast and recovered enough to move home and live by herself.
Photo: Aunt Ella, Grandma Hansen and Aunt Norma in 1989.
Aunt Ella Lenz
(Written by Norma Hansen) The oldest child of Leslie and Marguerite. My sister Ella had hearing aids as long as I can remember. I remember being fascinated by her combination eye glasses/hearing aids. They were built right into the bow of her glasses. Then she got the “big” in the ear hearing aids. She had trouble hearing her young children to be able to correct them as they were learning to talk resulting in her oldest son needing speech therapy in school to correct his pronunciation of certain words. Technology has advanced so much over the years making speech sound so much clearer so we can now hear those little differences. (I remember towards the end of her life the need to shout directly into her ear for her to hear me, even as she wore her hearing aids. Her hearing was almost gone.) I remember her daughter’s husband, Tim telling Vickie that she changed once she walked through her parents front door, talking very loud and pronouncing her words very distinctive. That is how our family adapted to living with our hearing impaired. Ella passed away in 1991 at the age of 56.
Photo: Aunt Ella holding her son Randy and I in 1961,she is wearing the hearing aids that are attached to her glasses.
Randy, Ella’s 3rd child and has worn hearing aids for over twenty years now and if he didn’t have them he would not have been able to start his business. He owns and operates a trucking company and he needs his ‘ears’ for several reasons, many of them including safety. His business isn’t the only thing that benefits from him being able to hear, his family life does too. He can spend time with his grandsons and really enjoy their conversations!
Photo: Randy with his grandsons.
Darcy is Randy’s oldest child and does not remember life without hearing aids, as she was 8 when she got her first set. However, she has found it interesting over the years that as her hearing tests continue to get worse, her hearing gets better! Because of the advances in technology each new set of hearing aids has brought new sounds into her life. One of her biggest memories is this…”I was driving home after getting a new set of hearing aids and I kept hearing this clicking sound. I could not figure out what it was! I finally had to ask someone and I was told that it was my blinker. After years of being in vehicles I didn’t know blinkers clicked! It makes me wonder what else I missed.”
Photo: Darcy with her sons.
Torey, Randy’s youngest child and was in high-school when he discovered he needed hearing aids. He fought it for a while, saying he was fine, thinking he was ‘too cool’! However, the continuous “huh’s?” and the constant plea of his family finally convinced him that he really needed to give them a shot. Once he gave them a chance he wished he hadn’t waited for so long!
Photo: Torey’s high school graduation.
Sherri's dad, the first son of the Hansen family, got his first hearing aid in 1985, although he needed it long before. In 2009 he bravely chose to get a cochlear implant in his right ear. At the age of 74 he continues to run the family ranch. When he was asked what one of the biggest impacts they have had on his life was, this was his response…”My biggest blessing is that I can actually hear the word of God at church, I am not just sitting there. I can participate!
Photo: Dad and Mom Dance at their Barn Dance in 2011.
The oldest child of Thorval. As you have observed if you have read through any of the stories of my family, we have a strong history of hearing loss in our family. I married Bruce Dodson in 1979 and his family appears to have a hereditary hearing loss also. I have included them in my family because they truly are my family. Our spouses and hearing children are challenged each day as they share our world of hearing impairment, they have to repeat themselves, get interrupted occasionally because we don’t realize they are talking, they are our biological ears at times, and for all the times we haven’t said thank- you for standing beside us…Thank you! I hope you will enjoy these stories from my family and that they will be an encouragement to you. Hearing aids truly are a blessing, they help keep us connected.
Photo: Bruce and I and the grandpup, Barrett.
Sherri’s son and he was diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of 8. I had a teacher that thought I had ADD, so my parents did some research and discovered I was actually suffering from a hearing loss that’s why I was having trouble staying on task in class. The results: My grades improved drastically. With mom’s help I have been able to enjoy a quality of life I would have never known. With her help I was able to secede in elementary, junior high, high school, and college. Given that she is hearing impaired as well she has a unique ability to understand whatever concerns or frustrations I might encounter. Also considering my main hobbies are hunting, watching football, and rodeo; it would be nearly impossible for me to enjoy these things without my hearing.
Photo: Chase team roping at a college rodeo.
Sherri’s oldest daughter. I was in my second year of college and my roommates told me that I really needed to have my hearing tested because, I wasn’t hearing them and was missing out on so much conversation. It was very emotional to realize that my hearing was much worse than I thought. But hearing aids have allowed me to get through college earning my bachelor’s degree in Medical Diagnostic Imaging. It has also allowed me to have a career in the medical field. Without hearing aids there is no way I could properly communicate with patients or other health care professionals. In my personal life my hearing aids are also a huge asset. Without them I would not be able to enjoy many social settings. I look forward to having children and getting to her the cute things they will say. If I did not have my hearing aids I would not be able to hear their sweet little voices. “I still find it ironic that I thought I would be so embarrassed to have to wear hearing aids and now I would be humiliated to have to go without them.”
Photo: Getting her prewedding advice from Dad.
Uncle Harley Hansen
Harley is the second son of Leslie and Marguerite. He got his hearing aids in his thirties. He shares this story about the hearing aids he got in 2006, I have never worn a more comfortable pair of hearing aids. The other day I was out feeding the heifers and was on the old loader tractor, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I think it needs more than a tune up. Most generally with my old hearing aids noise and static is all I hear. With these it’s not roaring static sound but just a louder sound like a motor should sound like. He is now adjusting to a new cochlear implant. The highlight of his life is spending time with his grandson, Will, and granddaughter, little Harley, they are too precious not to hear.
Photo: Uncle Harley with grandson, Will.
Uncle Marvin Hansen
Uncle Marvin was the last son born to the Hansen’s and he has worn hearing aids for 56 years! He got them at the age of 14 because of this…“The teacher could not teach me how to spell. So Mom decided she would teach me one way or another. They were frustrated at me for not learning phonics. Mom and Dad took me to Hastings to Dr. Beck. I was spelling exactly how I heard it.” When asked about the impact they have had on his life he said, they have “allowed me to run a very successful business and hear my family and customers talk to me.”
Photo: Uncle Marvin at the Train Festival with Great Grandson Aarick.
Aunt Bee Hansen
Marvin’s wife, what convinced Sherri’s Aunt Bee to get her first set of hearing aids? “I couldn’t hear what the Grandkids were saying and I didn’t want to miss out on anything! They work wonders!”
Photo: Aunt Bee and Uncle Marvin with little Aarick in Colorado.
Aunt Norma Hansen
Seventeen years after the last son, Leslie and Marguerite were blessed with Norma Lee and she is only and few years older than Sherri. “My hearing aids have given me a whole new life!” This is how Sherri’s Aunt Norma feels. She tried hearing aids twice and each time convinced herself she did not need them, that she was getting by. She found out differently though when an honest friend said, “Yes, you are getting by because I repeat what is said at meetings and what people often say to you.” At that point she took the step and she “really” tried them.
This is a story she shared after she and her son Jason got new sets of hearing aids, “We both looked at each other and asked my husband and older son what that noise was. They pointed up to the sky and the geese were migrating, we heard geese honking for the first time in our lives! I heard gravel moving under my feet, leaves blowing in the wind….we were so blessed and thankful!”
Norma’s current passion is her grandchildren and the fact that she can hear them is an amazing blessing to her!Photo: Aunt Norma and Sherri in 2011.
Norma’s youngest son, got hearing aids in 1st grade. As a single father it is so important that he hears well, to insure his son’s safety and education. Hearing loss hasn’t slowed Jason down; he is an avid hunter, loves motorcycles as well as many sports. Photo: Jason and his motorcycle.
Granddad Harold Dodson
(Written by Sherri) My husband, Bruce’s Grandfather. Farmed and ranched, served on many boards, and loved being surrounded by his children and grandchildren. I don’t remember much about his hearing aid other than he had them, I’m thinking they were more his go to meetings hearing aids. I don’t recall him wearing when they were out working. He never complained about wearing them so they must have been beneficial. Granddad passed away in 1987 he was young at 76, went out and worked at the farm everyday.
Photo: Granddad Dodson making the horses smile!
Father in law Duane Dodson
(Written by Sherri) Son of Harold. At 78, Duane still has to check his little red book to see if he can fit you into his busy schedule. He keeps busy with ranch work, REA board, grandkids ballgames, guiding hunters, clearing cedar trees or coffee at the local café. He keeps a spare set of hearing aids handy, he not willing to miss social or business conversations. He has been my walking billboard for hearing aids! He is so appreciative of being able to hear.
Photo: Duane lookin’ for cattle.
Son of Duane. I wear my hearing aids every day on the ranch as I work. They hung with me as I was dragged by my horse for 75 yards and I could clearly hear the gravel rolling along underneath me on the road! Actually it was amazing that I didn't lose them in that situation. They are definitely a part of my everyday life.
Photo: Dallas with his deer this fall.
Aunt Eileen Shirley
Harold’s oldest daughter. Several years ago after spending time with her brother and sister who wear hearing aids, Eileen said a prayer, “hoping she would never need them (hearing aids)”. At the age of 73 she did and she can’t imagine life without them! They allow her to enjoy her hobbies and allow her to really understand her kids, grandkids and great-grandsons.
Photo: Aunt Eileen.
Aunt Phyllis Mayfield
The youngest of Harold’s three children. At the age of 50, Phyllis was “having a hard time hearing with noise in the background” so she chose to try hearing aids and has never regretted it!
Photo: Phyllis Mayfield four generation picture.
If you or a family member are hearing impaired and would like more information, there are many types of hearing loss that affect all ages. We customize a solution for each individual's needs using many brands of hearing aids.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, or for more information, contact Sherri to schedule an appointment at 308.532.1880
Jason's son, Julien, found some demo hearing aids in Sherri's office and put one on just like Daddy, it was so cute.
Grandma Marguerite getting her hearing aids in 1999. Looks like she was making a smart remark to Norma.
Jason dancing with his Mom, Aunt Norma in 2011.