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Phonak And Marvel's Iron Man Team Up To Reduce Childhood Stigma Of Hearing Aids

WARRENVILLE, Ill., Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Phonak has announced a unique partnership with Marvel Custom Solutions to produce an educational poster geared for children which highlights the positive benefits of hearing aid technology in support of an enhanced quality of life among those with hearing loss.

Phonak was inspired by a story about five year-old Phonak hearing aid wearer, Anthony Smith from New Hampshire, who told his mother that he did not want to wear his hearing aid to school because "Super Heroes don't wear hearing aids."  A request from Anthony's mother resulted in Marvel creating a specially designed Super Hero whose hearing aids give him Super Hero ability to hear others in need of help.

"It was a great story about how Marvel came to the rescue to reinforce a child's belief in Super Heroes – and in the process – belief in himself to overcome the challenge of wearing hearing aids," said Phonak President Jeff Newnham. "Given that Phonak's purpose is to enrich the lives of the hearing impaired, we used Marvel's ingenuity as our motivation to create an inspirational message for the greater population of children with hearing loss."

The poster – designed to be displayed on kids' bedroom walls - features the hugely popular Armored Avenger known as Iron Man, and is currently being distributed to pediatric hearing practices throughout the country via Phonak. One special poster has been reserved for Anthony as thanks for sharing his inspiring story. Iron Man will be making a special appearance today at the Center for Hearing and Communication in New York City to present the poster to Anthony and his family.

"Anthony's story reminded us that everyone, despite of or even because of their challenges, can be an inspiration to others," said Marvel Custom Solutions Editor Bill Rosemann. "It was our honor to work with writer Christos Gage and artist Paco Medina to create this exciting and educational poster that we hope will help spread the word that everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and that we all have the capability to unleash the hero within."

When asked what he thought of Phonak's gesture, Anthony replied, "GREAT! I can't wait to put it on my wall with all of my Super Heroes!"

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