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Reality TV star Lily McManus uses her reality for good

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Bachelor star and Celebrity Treasure Island contestant Lily McManus has revealed her next starring role - as a Youth Ambassador for the National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Much admired for her confidence and spirit, Lily is an inspiration to youths dealing with hearing loss, Natasha Gallardo, chief executive of the National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, says.

"Lily was diagnosed with hearing loss in her teens and candidly admits she didn’t cope well. She has learnt to not let it define her, instead it drives her, so she is an ideal person to inspire others."

It was several years before Lily came to terms with the news she had 60 percent hearing loss, she refused to wear her hearing aids until she was 18, and hid her condition on The Bachelor, finally going public at 21.

Lily chose the foundation to be her official charity on the TV2 show Celebrity Treasure Island, raising money for youth programmes before she was eliminated earlier in the series.

The show’s timing was fortuitous, as NFDHH has launched an initiative to tackle escalating youth hearing loss rates following initial findings of a Year 9 in-school pilot study.

In New Zealand, hearing loss affects around 11 percent of the workforce - approximately 300,000 people aged between 20 and 65. This could double in the next decade given global rates of hearing loss in youth is one in five.

"It scares me how common hearing loss is in people my age, and younger," the 22 year old says. "There is a correlation between mental health and hearing impairment. It affected my youth and caused me a lot of grief."

One of her first appearances will be as a speaker at NFDHH’s Listen Up Conference, a symposium looking at the rising rates in youth hearing loss, and how to support this future generation at it enters the workforce.

She will share the stage with Mental Health Advocate Mike King, Clinical Psychologist Nigel Latta and Minister for Disability Issues, Hon. Carmel Sepuloni.

"If I can help anyone by being loud ad proud about my disability, I’ve done my job," she says. "I didn’t have anyone my age to look up to as a teen - I want to show people you can live with hearing loss, you don’t have to suffer from hearing loss."

- Listen Up! 2019 - Tackling Youth Hearing Loss

How this impacts you as an employer

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Sky City Convention Centre

Auckland

www.nfd.org.nz

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