Newswise — MAYWOOD, Il. – 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 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 and Audiology Services. She saw John Leonetti, MD, who determined that 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 offers 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.

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