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Seventh-grader raises $18,000 to buy hearing aids for other young people

MAYWOOD, Ill. (April 8, 2014) – Thirteen-year-old Eliza Peters owes her hearing to ear surgeries and hearing aids she received at Loyola University Medical Center.

Now Eliza is paying back by raising money for other children who need hearing aids but cannot afford them.

Last year Eliza’s fundraising drive, Hear the Cheers!, raised $18,000. The seventh-grader recently relaunched her fundraising effort with an appeal on the Chicago Hearing Society website.

Eliza, a point guard on her basketball team at Geneva Middle School North, has teamed up with ESPN SportsCenter anchor Sarah Spain to promote Hear the Cheers! They have obtained sports-related prizes that will be raffled to donors, including tickets to Cubs and Blackhawks games, a basketball signed by Magic Johnson and a jersey signed by Derrick Rose.

Eliza has spread the message about Hear the Cheers! through word of mouth and on Facebook and Twitter. She has been honored for her efforts by the HearStrong Foundation, an organization that advocates for hearing-loss awareness, education and support.

When Eliza was younger, she suffered multiple ear infections. At another center, she received ear tubes to ventilate the middle ears and prevent further infections. But as a result, she developed eardrum perforations.

Eliza came to Loyola’s Hearing Center & Audiology Services. She saw John Leonetti, MD, who determined that  in addition to punctured eardrums in both ears, Eliza had a cyst called a cholesteatoma in her left ear.

Leonetti first performed surgery on Eliza’s left ear. He removed the cyst and repaired the eardrum with Eliza’s own tissue. Four months later, Leonetti performed a second surgery to repair the right eardrum.

Audiologist Kyle Raterman, AuD, fitted Eliza with micro hearing aids in each ear. Custom earpieces are worn in each ear and are attached to micro sound processors located behind the ears. The devices process and amplify sound to provide the best possible hearing, Raterman said.

Eliza’s mother, Amber Peters, said that when Eliza is wearing her hearing aids, her hearing is virtually normal. “The surgery and hearing aids together probably saved Eliza’s hearing,” she said.

Loyola's Hearing Center & Audiology Services offer an experienced team of physicians and staff, and a full range of services and progressive therapy to treat neonatal, pediatric and adult patients with hearing loss.

Loyola University Health System (LUHS) is a member of Trinity Health. Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, LUHS is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and more than 30 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus is a 559-licensed-bed hospital that houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children's Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb campus in Melrose Park includes the 255-licensed-bed community hospital, the Professional Office Building housing 150 private practice clinics, the Adult Day Care, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park.

Media Relations

Jim Ritter
Media Relations
(708) 216-2445
Health Sciences Division