On May 1, 2010, in honor of Better Hearing and Speech Month, more than 600 people from across Indiana will gather for Hear Indiana‘s 7th annual Talk Walk Run (5K) to raise awareness about Doing Deaf Differently. With communitywide support, and a presenting sponsorship from Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St Vincent, Hear Indiana, Indianapolis, hopes to raise $50,000 in 2010 to support their ongoing programming (ie, advocacy, support, educational programming, and a week-long Youth Leadership Camp).

Patty Spitler, former TV news anchor and the current host of PetPalsTV.com, has joined Hear Indiana’s cause to raise awareness about hearing loss and the options available today. Spitler is now speaking publicly about her choice to get amplification and remain active in the hearing world, "In December of 2004, I dropped out of work and dropped out of life. By then my hearing loss, due to Meniere’s Disease, had progressed to the point that I could no longer function in the hearing intensive world of TV news," she said in a statement. "Today I am profoundly deaf, but my new digital hearing aid has greatly improved my ability to communicate again. Hear Indiana has helped me realize that my life is not over. Hearing loss and deafness are still a struggle, and everyone has a different story and a different need…but our problem doesn’t have to be suffered in silence anymore."

This year’s post-race festivities will include a proclamation by the Mayor of Lawrence, a visit from the Indianapolis Colts’ cheerleaders, an interactive rhythm ensemble, kids’ games, free food from Noodles and Company, and lively discussion with Spitler.

The 5K run/walk will begin at 9 am (same-day registration begins at 7:30 am) on May 1, 2010 at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis. The FREE Kids Fun Run begins at 10:30 am. The Talk Walk Run is a chance for families to meet others affected by hearing loss. Register at www.TalkWalkRun.net.

Hear Indiana is the nonprofit Indiana chapter of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. For 40 years the organization has helped children with hearing loss achieve their fullest potential as independent members of society, says the group.

[Source: Hear Indiana]