By Cambi Brown

OAKDALE (CBS13) – She was born genetically deaf, but eighth-grader Amanda Bricker isn’t letting it stop her.

Larry Loger coaches varsity softball at Oakdale High School where Amanda will go next year.

“I’ve never seen her use it as a crutch,” Loger said. “She’s a hard worker so I don’t think it’s ever going to be a problem for her.”

To watch her play, you would have no idea she was born deaf.  That’s in large part thanks to cochlear implants.

The implants allow her to hear as well as anyone, except for a few difficulties.

“If it’s someone behind me yelling my name, it’s harder for me to pick it up,” Brickner said.

The implants have been a game changer – literally.

“There’s a magnet that connects to my head and underneath my skin is a magnet with a computer chip that does radiation waves. It does waves of the sounds I hear to my brain,” Bricker said, describing how the implants work.

You’ll most likely see her wearing a headband while she plays.

“When I’m playing softball – when I’m pitching – they like bobble around if I don’t wear a headband or when I’m wearing a helmet,” Bricker said.

Most people don’t even realize Amanda is deaf, and she’s happy to keep it that way.

“Now I can hear and can keep my grades up and benefit on the softball field knowing what to do and where to go,” Brickner said.

The skies the limit for Amanda, whose mom is so thankful they looked into cochlear implants.

“When you have a child with a disability like this, do all the right things so you can give your child that opportunity that they deserve,” said Brandy Bricker, Amanda’s mom.

After high school, Amanda says she wants to go to college and possibly become an audiologist so she can help people like she was helped.


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