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

By Laura Terrell

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HARTFORD, Iowa (KCCI) – A Hartford man hopes he can hear again soon after being nearly deaf for more than a decade.

Tanner Onder was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 8.

“What my neurosurgeon told us scared us all. From what they told us I would be dead in a week if they didn’t get the tumor out in time. 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 has disappeared, but Onder’s family says hearing loss is a side effect of all of his childhood cancer treatments.

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

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

“It’s depressing just to see the look on his face, the tears in his eyes, I’m crying too. It’s not fair. He’s a good boy. He would give you the shirt off his back if you asked. He doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does that,” said Lisa Cosner, Tanner’s mother.

Onder’s grandmother contacted the Miracle-Ear Foundation. The program is aimed at people who are personally unable to meet their hearing health needs financially. Miracle-Ear Foundation agreed to give Onder a BiCROS hearing aid free of charge.

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

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

“Maybe I’ll even cry. We’ve needed this for a long time,” says Cosner.

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

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