Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014

9-year-old girl writes letter to Seattle Seahawks' Derrick Coleman about hearing impairment, Coleman responds

Compiled by Sarah Petersen, Deseret News

Published: Wed, Jan. 22 4:15 p.m. MST

 Jake Kovalcik posted a picture of his 9-year-old daughter's letter to Derrick Coleman, running back for the Seattle Seahawks.

Jake Kovalcik posted a picture of his 9-year-old daughter's letter to Derrick Coleman, running back for the Seattle Seahawks.

(Jake Kovalcik's Twitter account)

This week the Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman received a significant amount of media attention for a statement he made Sunday, giving critics ammunition and fans a reason to rally in defense of the cornerback. But another member of the team, full back Derrick Coleman, is making headlines for a reason fans and critics alike can appreciate.

Two weeks ago, Duracell released its latest commercial featuring Coleman's hearing impairment. The commercial shows the struggles Coleman endured from being teased on the playground to struggling to play football with hearing aids. Although Coleman was continually told he couldn't do it, he didn't believe that.

"They didn't call my name, told me it was over," Coleman says in the video. "But I've been deaf since I was 3, so I didn't listen."

The powerful message has received a positive response from viewers, but none as tender as that of Jake Kovalcik's daughter, Riley. On Tuesday morning, Kovalcik posted a letter from his 9-year-old daughter on Twitter to Coleman and the Seattle Seahawks team stating:

"You've inspired my little girls in a way I never could. THANK YOU!"

In the letter, Riley addresses Coleman as "my inspiration." She explains that both she and her twin sister are like Coleman because they also wear hearing aids and like sports.

"I know how you feel. I also have hearing aids. Just try your best. I have faif (sic) in you," the letter states.

The tweet soon received more than 1,500 retweets and 1,500 likes, and on Wednesday afternoon, Coleman responded:

"@JakeIsMobile Your girls are awesome!" Coleman tweeted. "Read them my letter back when you can! Thank you for the support! Means a lot!"

In the letter, Coleman expresses his gratitude for the letter and support.

"Dear Miss Kovalcik, Thanks for the letter. Really was great hearing from a friend who I have so much in common with," Coleman wrote.

He goes on to say, "Even though we wear hearing aids, we can still accomplish our goals and dreams!"

The New Jersey dad spoke with the New York Daily News regarding his daughter's sudden attention and Coleman's example.

"The only reason I put the tweet out was so that he can get to see that he's an inspiration for my kids,” Kovalcik told the Daily News. "He's been so successful. He's somebody to look up to, and he made her feel like hearing aids are cool."

Email: spetersen@deseretnews.com

Duracell: Trust Your Power - NFL's Derrick Coleman, Seattle Seahawks

Related Stories
Recommended
1. The Scientist
Provo, UT,
Jan. 22, 2014

That is a great story.

2. Coolio
SLC, UT,
Jan. 23, 2014

Excellent

3. Bill Jensen
Burley, ID,
Jan. 23, 2014

Awesome story. I can relate, having had 50% hearing loss since age 5.

4. Mayfair
City, Ut,
Jan. 24, 2014

Awww, The Scientist.

Made my day to click LIKE on your comment.

That doesn't ever happen.

Love that there is still something in this world I can agree completely with you on!