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Do Everything Around Faith: Toddler’s hearing loss inspires uplifting clothing brand

LULING — While the word “DEAF” describes 2-year-old J’Adore Turner’s sensory hearing loss, it’s also short for “Do Everything Around Faith” — a promise that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

A local mother and daughter are showing the world that disabilities place no limits on an individual’s purpose or capacity to succeed in life. Dorneisha Turner was inspired by her daughter to create the DEAF clothing brand and reach out to others.

“DEAF is definitely a brand for the world. It’s not just for a kid or an adult that is deaf,” Turner said. “It’s for every child who has a disability. I believe kids with disabilities can conquer the world. It can even be for an adult going through life’s challenges. Even though things look dull right now, if you keep pushing and believing, I promise it will get better.”

J’Adore was born deaf in her left ear. After she failed two newborn hearing tests, she was referred to a Children’s Hospital for a follow-up. The next test revealed severe hearing loss in her right ear as well, and she was given hearing aids before she was 3 months old.

“They said the hearing aids should be able to give J’Adore everything she needs to develop language and communicate with her peers,” Turner said.

However, when doctors tested her hearing again at 6 months old, there was more bad news.

DEAF stands for “Do Everything Around Faith.”

“At that point, she had drastically lost her hearing and she was considered deaf,” Turner said. “That was not the outcome they were expecting with her wearing hearing aids.”

Doctors told Turner J’Adore was a good candidate for cochlear implants. Unlike hearing aids, which make sounds louder, cochlear implants bypass a damaged part of the ear to stimulate the hearing nerve directly.

J’Adore underwent surgery in February 2020, allowing doctors to make an incision behind her ear and insert an electrode to improve her hearing. It can sometimes be a hassle to get an adventurous toddler to wear implants for 12 to 15 hours a day, but Turner is pleased with the progress J’Adore has made in recent months.

J’Adore is beginning to recognize sounds and discover her voice. She has early intervention therapy four times a week through Children’s Hospital and Early Steps as she learns to communicate effectively in English and Spanish.

“She’s been doing amazing since she’s had them. She is basically brand new at learning how to hear, how to communicate and how to talk,” Turner said. “She is a joy. Big personality. She loves nature and animals. She doesn’t let this stop her. She’s a normal kid, and she’s very outgoing and very friendly.”

Despite the challenges of being deaf, J’Adore is a typical toddler with a loving spirit.

Turner never treats J’Adore different for her disability. She chooses to focus on her daughter’s abilities and everything that makes her unique.

“Her clothing brand is called DEAF, but it stands for ‘Do Everything Around Faith.’ We believe it’s really only by the grace of God that J’Adore is doing the things she’s doing now because they said she would not progress (this quickly). She’s moving at a very fast pace,” Turner said.

The DEAF brand has a rainbow of vibrant colors as bright as J’Adore’s future. Though J’Adore does not have autism, the new logo includes a puzzle piece to show solidarity with children of all disabilities and abilities.

“You have to be bold to say no matter what I’m going through, no matter my circumstances, no matter my disability, I’m going to conquer everything I need to succeed in life,” Turner said.

Faith is also central to the DEAF brand. Turner has been a dedicated member of Mending Broken Hearts Ministries since she was 15 years old.

“Lady” Antoinette Gordon and her husband, the Rev. James Gordon, are immensely proud of Turner for persevering through depression and turning life’s challenges into an opportunity for positive impact.

The DEAF brand uses vibrant colors to signify a bright future.

“She has a very loving and gentle heart. She’s very intelligent and dedicated to everything she does,” Lady Gordon said. “She had a lot of hurdles and a lot of mountains and we’re really proud of her because she overcame all of that. Dorneisha is a very unique person to us, and she’s a treasure. I’m not surprised that God would open the doors for her to do everything she’s doing with her baby and the clothing line.”

Turner’s mother, Nikole Turner, is also excited to see what the future holds.

“I’m really proud of her for being so young and dealing with a daughter with a disability. She has been very patient, very understanding,” Nikole Turner said. “J’Adore is a loving little girl. Dorneisha is very involved with her and takes her to all of her therapy sessions.”

Turner hopes DEAF will inspire others.

“You never know who you are going to run into in life down the road who you will be able to help because they will be going through the same thing that you’re going through. You’re going to be able to break them out of any dark place they might be in,” she said.

Turner is looking for children with disabilities to model the DEAF brand. For more information, please contact NeishaLovedd on Facebook. A website for the brand is coming soon.