SEATTLE - Derrick Coleman and the Seattle Seahawks are helping raise awareness of the deaf community.
The team helped organize a fundraiser Friday night with five Seattle-based nonprofit groups.
Doctors diagnosed Coleman as deaf, at age 3. People had given up on him, even after he started wearing hearing aids. He explained during a Super Bowl press conference that from school to school, team to team, either he or his mom would take the coach aside and explain, saying, just talk a little louder.
"Doctors still don't know why I lost it. It just up and left," Coleman said.
Coleman made his NFL debut with the Seahawks last season, and has been an inspiration for the deaf and hearing impaired community.
Coleman says he doesn't like to say it all the time, but he does sometimes say, "Hey, look at me." He says it to show others with a disability that you can achieve your dreams. He said he is the person he is today because he never used any excuses, and his parents didn't treat him any differently just because he was deaf.
The event featured live music, gourmet food, and an auction.
"It's fantastic. It's just such a great opportunity to shed light on the cause, and all the wonderful work that's being done to help organizations, help people who are deaf and hard of hearing," said Paige Stringer with the Global Foundation for Children with Hearing Loss.