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Iowan hopes to hear again after brain tumor left him partially deaf

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By Laura Terrell

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    HARTFORD, Iowa (KCCI) — A Hartford man hopes he will soon be able to hear again after more than a decade of being almost deaf.

Tanner Onder was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 8-years-old.

“What my neurosurgeon told us scared all of us. From what they told us, if they did not get the tumor out in time I would be dead within a week. With the tumor I was just a ticking time bomb,” said Onder.

He underwent nine surgeries and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Now at age 21, the cancer is gone, but Onder’s family says hearing loss is a side effect of all his childhood cancer treatments.

“Half the time when people are talking to me I don’t hear them, and I’ll say what or what did you say,” said Onder.

Onder can’t hear out of his right ear, and at age 16 he also developed a constant ringing.

“It’s depressing just to see the look on his face, the tears in his eyes, makes me want to cry too. It’s not fair. He’s a good kid. He would give you the shirt off his back if you asked for it. He doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does,” said Lisa Cosner, Tanner’s mother.

Onder’s grandmother contacted the Miracle-Ear Foundation. The program is designed for people who demonstrate a personal inability to financially provide for their hearing health needs. Miracle-Ear Foundation agreed to give Onder a BiCROS hearing aid at no cost.

“It amplifies sound from your right ear and transfers it to the left ear,” said Onder. “I am very grateful. I mean it’s going to help, and the doctors have been doing everything they can to make sure that happens.”

Cosner says she hopes this will be a new beginning for her son.

“I might even just cry. We’ve been needing this for a long time,” said Cosner.

Onder will be fitted and receive his new hearing aid on Aug. 3 at the Miracle-Ear store in Clive. Since its founding in 1990, Miracle-Ear Foundation has donated more than 30,000 hearing aids to more than 16,000 children and adults nationwide, who could otherwise not afford them.

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