Nothing stops a Game Ready Mom determined to provide an opportunity for her child. May Evans, mother of the NFL’s Derrick Coleman who was legally deaf since the age of 3. By age 6, he was wearing hearing aids in both ears. May believed that her talented child would not be limited by his hearing impairment. Derrick wanted to play football but while on the field, he would experience too much feedback in his hearing aids, making playing the game difficult.
Leave it to mom to find a way!
May Evans put her thinking cap on. She took a pair of regular pantyhose, cut them and placed the hearing aid inside. Voilá! Derrick took to the field and with hard work combined with talent, he convinced coaches that he deserved his shot to play.
He got his shot at UCLA after participating in a one-day camp. His talent was evident. “At the camp, the subject of his hearing aids came up only once. A coach pulled him aside and asked Derrick to tell him about his hearing aids. He told him he’s worn them most of his entire life. “That’s it,” the coach said. “If you are good with it, I’m good with it.” [Did you hear the one about Derrick Coleman?, LA Times]
He was undrafted when his college career ended at UCLA but was invited to participate in the Seattle Seahawks camp. He made the cut and recently scored his 1st NFL touchdown. Playing with one of the most disciplined, effective offenses in the league, he works well with quarterback Russell Wilson and gets it done on the field. He turns to Wilson and lipreads and watches for other clues on audibles. It all works and he’s having the time of his life in a career that he loves.
It all started with a mom on a mission with a pair of pantyhose. That’s good stuff.
Here’s more info: “Playing Sports with a Hearing Loss” on healthyhearing.com