As other Seattle Seahawks players prepared for the big game, Derrick Coleman took some time out of his schedule to help others with hearing loss.
On Saturday, the fullback, who is the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL, helped hand out hearing aids to people in the New York area. Sponsored by the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the event saw more than 100 people fitted with free digital hearing devices at Yankee Stadium.
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Coleman, who has been outspoken about his own experience, has become a role model for many with hearing loss.
"I went through all the pain, and I know that other people have too. The fact that I’m here and I didn’t make any excuses -- that my parents didn’t let me -- is a blessing," Coleman said during the event, according to a Starkey press release. "That’s why I like talking to kids and meeting them -- to let them know I’ve been through it too."
Last month, 9-year-old Riley Kovalcik, of New Jersey, (pictured above, hugging Coleman with her twin sister) wrote Coleman a letter about the things they have in common -- they both have hearing aids and love sports. The Seahawks player responded with a letter of his own, but also took it a step further and invited Kovalcik and family to the Super Bowl.
Needless to say, they were excited to meet him.