In June of 2017, Braden’s dog Chewy ate his hearing aids. After his parents lectured him on the importance of taking better care of them since they can be quite expensive as insurance does not cover his, Braden was inspired to do something about it. He created a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of raising money for people who can’t afford hearing aids and advertised on his moms Facebook page. Little did he know that this small idea would fuel some huge outcomes in the months to follow.
Since Braden wears Oticon hearing aids, it was a natural choice to choose The Oticon Hearing Foundation as the recipient of his funds. This relationship has allowed him to supply hearing instruments not only individuals in the U.S. but in other parts of the world. He is especially proud to have set up a local relationship with the pediatric audiology department at Cook Children’s hospital in Fort Worth, Texas to ensure that children who are unable to afford hearing aids now have an option to receive them via his relationship with Oticon. He has also started a relationship with the Fort Worth Independent School District where he hopes to provide hearing aids to local students when the need arises.
After appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October of 2017, the outpouring of support not just financially but emotionally has been huge in recognizing and acknowledging the needs of the hearing impaired community. His GoFundMe campaign is now at over $107,000 and so far he has traveled to Guatemala and Africa to work with volunteer audiologists. Over 200 people have received new hearing devices thanks to his efforts. But there is still more work to be done and people to serve, and he’s not done yet.