Around three million kids in the United States have hearing loss and one pretty famous family is making a difference one step at a time across the world, but on Saturday they are making that difference in our area. Olive Osmond was the matriarch of the world famous Osmond singing family. Two of her children were deaf and she then began devoting her life to helping people with hearing loss. This morning the family held a MAD Marathon to help raise funds and awareness about this issue.
"Hearing loss runs in our family and so we know firsthand what it is like not to be able to hear and the importance of being able to hear. I wear hearing aids and someone gave me a chance to be able to hear and speak. This is my way to pay it forward and to help even more kids that have hearing loss like I do," said Justin Osmond, the CEO and Founder of the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund.
Recently several Idaho children with hearing loss were given the gift of hearing, thanks to the generosity of the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund which is the organization that host the Make A Difference, or also called MAD, Marathon.
"There are a lot of kids out there, even here in Idaho Falls that are in need of help and I wanted to put this event together with a lot of wonderful help from volunteers to give that help. It is fun to see the families reuniting through the gift of sound and hearing. A kid that has hearing loss, but that hearing loss no longer has them, thanks to our wonderful sponsors, runners, and the great people that came our here to give support," added Osmond.
The cloudy skies, the scattered rain showers didn't hold any of these runners back from giving it their all Saturday morning. This is the third annual Mad Marathon held in Idaho Falls and last year they raised more than $30 thousand dollars, with this year already on course to exceed that figure. All the proceeds go to help the Idaho Falls deaf community through providing hearing aids to kids, musical instruments along with lessons, plus equipment for schools to make it easier on teachers and students to communicate.
"It's rewarding and it's humbling and I just play a small part. I look around and I see all the happy faces and that's what keeps me going. Especially the little girl, McKenzie who received hearing aids, the change that it is brought into their lives, it brings a change to mine, and everybody else that's around. It's a great run and that's what it's all about, coming together and making a difference one step at a time," said Osmond.
Since 2010 the Osmond hearing fund has helped around 3 thousand kids receive the gift of hearing. The center for hearing and communication state that over 90 percent of the time deaf children are born to hearing parents and that it's never too early to have your child's hearing tested. For more information on how you can get involved with the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund or the MAD marathons near you, you can visit their website at www.run4hearing.com