Anyone who has come in contact with Grace Rivera knows that she does not have a mean bone in her body. She is truly a selfless woman who goes above and beyond to help in any way she can. She not only helps her family and friends, but helps complete strangers almost every day as a Registered Nurse in Florida. Grace has been known to drive hours on her days off of work just to visit her family members and friends to make sure they are taking care of themselves. She is the type of person who realizes that sometimes all anyone needs is someone just to be around.
Grace was raised in the Red Hook Projects of Brooklyn, NY, and is the oldest of four children. Growing up, she was prone to many ear infections which eventually caused her to lose her hearing. Grace studied Nursing at Clara Barton High School, and went on to Hunter College where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1980. After graduating from college, she worked as a Registered Nurse at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn for 25 years. During that time, she gave birth to her first child in October of 1981. Shortly after giving birth to her son, Grace began to wear a hearing aid which only helped her to hear certain tones. However, she was unable to talk on the phone or make out any words while talking face to face. She ultimately mastered lip reading to help her through her day to day routine. Grace gave birth to her daughter in May 1989. Her children were also a great help when it came to making phone calls.
In 2005, a family friend encouraged Grace to get a cochlear implant and she did so in December of that year. After the implant, she was finally able to talk on the phone and hear words. The cochlear implant gave Grace the independence to experience the world in a whole new way!
Unfortunately, the device is now about 10 years old and has been giving Grace a hard time since November 2014. It is not nearly as effective as it once was and Grace is having trouble hearing again. She can no longer talk on the phone and the worst part about it is she has been having difficulty at work as well because she cannot hear. Grace’s audiologist explained to her that the device helping her hear needs to be upgraded. Her insurance will not cover this upgrade which is going to cost her over $9,000. Currently Grace is helping her daughter raise her new-born baby and $9,000 is a lot of money especially when there is a new baby to think about. Right now, her family is hoping that Grace’s story will encourage you to help in any way you can. Grace would never ask for help, but we all feel she deserves this and more.
This is not about asking you to donate to someone who cannot help herself. This is about asking you to help someone who has helped many of us in the past and will always help because it’s who she is. Grace is a hardworking, compassionate, generous woman, and this upgrade on her hearing device is not just for her, it’s also for everyone else she helps every day.
Any little bit would help and if you do not have the means to donate, sharing her story would also be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for taking the time out to read her story and I hope we can help Grace pay it forward.
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