|(Left) Lias reacts with joy as he can hear with his new hearing aid for the first time. (Right) Kevin Frost with Alfredo, the first boy he got hearing aids for back in 2004.(Bottom) Frost with his extended family in Mexico. PHOTOS SUPPLIED
being diagnosed with Usher's Syndrome in 2002, deaf-bind
athlete Kevin Frost has accomplished a lot in his life.
He's competed internationally as a speed skater and a
cyclist, winning a number of medals, and he recently
won the Canadian blind golf championship.
none of those accomplishments can compare to the role
he's played in helping 28 Mexican children hear again.
was vacationing in Cancun in 2004 when he met Yvonne
Costello who was doing mission work among the poor
in area villages.
noticed I was wearing a hearing aid and we struck up
a conversation,� recalls Frost. "She told me about
these deaf kids who couldn't afford hearing aids and
she asked me if there was any-way I could help her out.�
the ensuing years, Frost has raised funds to purchase
hearing aids for 28 kids. At first he did it on his own,
but more recently he's enlisted the help of local Lions
Clubs after becoming a member of the Orléans Lions Club
in 2007. As impressive as that is, it's even more impressive
when you consider that a pair of hearing aids can cost
upwards of $2,000.
last visited Mexico in 2017. He made a point of meeting
each and every kid who had received hearing aids.
a very humbling experience. None of these kids could hear
anything before they got their hearing ads, so it totally
changes their lives. They've able to hear again. They can
communicate with their family and friends, but the most
important thing is that they get to go to school and get
an education,� says Frost.
the money Frost has raised over the years has also gone
to speech therapy lessons because most kids who can't hear
also can't speak, especially if they've been deaf since birth.
One of the kids Frost helped needed a Cochlear implant.
two when he got the implants in 2012,� says Frost. "But two
years ago his mother got in touch with me and said his body
was rejecting them, and that he got an infection so they had
to take them out.�
the infection, Lias could still use a hearing aid in one
ear, so Frost went to work earlier this year to raise the
money needed for the hearing aid with the help of the Lions
Hearing Committee of Ontario, the Orléans Lions Club, the
Cumberland Lions Club and the Sudbury Lions Club.
a real team effort and I can't say enough about my fellow
Lions,� says a grateful Frost, who also got some help from
the Mexican Embassy in Ottawa. "Usually it costs a lot to
send a medical device to Mexico, but they stepped in and
offered to deliver it to Lias' village for free which was
that makes the hearing aids also gave them a discount.
received the device earlier this month and for the first
time in years he was able to hear his parent's voices and
the other sounds from his surroundings.
hoping to return to Mexico soon to reunite with Lias and
the other kids he has helped over the years who have all
become part of his extended family.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of
our local business partners.)