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Free hearing aid program helps Ontario woman hear for the 1st time in 60 years


Cindy Weber says her life will never be the same after receiving a gift most people take for granted - the ability to hear.

"You have no idea what it's like when I heard," an emotional Weber says.

For over 60 years, Weber lived with a hearing impairment after a bout of meningitis as a young child.

"I got from the age of six to 68 by reading lips," she says.

A few weeks ago, Weber became one of five people in Ontario to receive a free pair of hearing aids as part of an annual program by Hear Well Be Well, called Gift of Hearing.

"I heard the first sounds of birds, and I will hear my grandson for the first time. You can't replace that," she says.

Hari Khalsa, a hearing instrument specialist with Hear Well Be Well, highlights that hearing loss is more common than most people might think.

He estimates 10 per cent of the world's population has hearing loss, with around 70 per cent of people over 70 experiencing some level of hearing impairment.

Cindy Weber, 68, of Tiny Township, Ont., has her hearing tested at the Hear Well Be Well clinic. (CTV News/Rob Cooper)

After getting the hearing aids, Weber says she experienced the world in a whole new way, including taking in all the sounds on the car ride home with her daughter, like the noise from the turn indicator.

"I can hear that signal, click click click click. There's birds. There's birds out there!"

Hear Well Be Well's hearing program offers free hearing aids to those who need them, with each pair costing as much as $10,000.

For those at Hear Well Be Well, the Gift of Hearing program is more than just providing hearing aids to those in need; it's about helping people improve their quality of life.

"We work with some of the manufacturers to be able to get people hearing aids at no charge," says Wendy Moore, Hear Well Be Well.

For Weber, her life will never be the same again.

"I can hear my footsteps when I walk," she says. "People that take things for granted really should be really lucky for what they have and be happy."

Hear Well Be Well will offer a similar program this ear and will accept applications in May. Top Stories

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