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Profoundly deaf since she was a year old, Heather struggled against the odds to live a normal life. Ironically, though, because of ...
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Profoundly deaf since she was a year old, Heather struggled against the odds to live a normal life. Ironically, though, because of her deafness she never heard the voices of discouragement that many of us so often hear. She never heard the doctor tell her family that she wouldn't develop beyond third grade abilities, she never heard the voices of those who said she would never dance ballet, or even speak. She did, however, hear the encouraging spirit of her family, and she brought herself along to become Miss America in 1995. Though disabled, her incredible gifts have inspired many throughout the world, and in Listening With My Heart she shares her life-changing wisdom to others that with strength and faith, anything is possible.
The first physically handicapped woman to win the Miss America Pageant tells the story of her deafness, love of ballet, education, and challenge to fulfill her God-given potential.
Now a motivational speaker, the Alabama-born Whitestone dedicates this book to her "Heavenly Father," with thanks for "the joys, the trials, and the uphill path." Whitestone did have an uphill path. Her deafness came as a result of treatment for a life-threatening illness when she was only 18 months old. As with so many people who push beyond what professionals predict are the limits of their disabilities, Whitestone had caretakers—in this case, her parents—who believed that she could learn to talk and to function in the "real" world. Her parents chose to have Whitestone learn to speak, as opposed to using only sign language and lip-reading to communicate. The long hours of study and practice—over and above schoolwork—were frustrating, but Whitestone found an outlet in learning ballet. That was the talent that carried her through years of pageants, beginning with the Shelby County Junior Miss program, when she was a moody, angry high school senior. As second runner-up, she came home with $1,400 in college scholarship money and rising self-esteem. On track to the Miss America competition, she entered the Miss Alabama contest three times, scoring at last in 1995 and moving on to Atlantic City to walk the famous walk as Miss America. Whitestone describes the year of her reign—an exhausting, enervating, frustrating year, but one also devoted to furthering deaf causes (such as early diagnosis) and encouraging deaf children. Most demoralizing was the reaction of the deaf community to their new queen; some people were proud, but others were publicly indignant that Heather spoke rather than signed.
A simple story, simply told, with the emphasis on hard work, concentration, and trust in God.
Posted April 19, 2005
I think this was a good book. It was a good personal story but the author made many references to Deaf people and thier language that are not true. She may be medically deaf but is not a true Deaf personWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2004
Heather Whitestone talks about overcoming her deafness to succeed. Being deaf since eighteen months old didn't stop her from reaching her goals of college education and becoming Miss America. She writes the ups and down as being Miss America despite exhaustion and lack of privacy. She also writes about her faith in God who helped her.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 9, 2004
this book is awesome. it was a true inspiration to me. My best friend at the time, who was himself deaf, though this would be a great book for me considering my interest in the deaf. i decided to read and i must say i read the book non stop for 2 days. the book is a must for all those who feel like that can do it. this bbook show as long as you belive in yourself you can accomplish anyhitngWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 20, 2008
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