Color Guard member overcomes adversity - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Color Guard member overcomes adversity

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The UNI Color Guard depends on the sounds that accompany a Panther football game. But one member of the guard endures a daily struggle to hear every hote.

Sylvia Townsend has had a hearing impairment ever since she suffered an ear infection at the age of three. But that didn't keep her from joining her high school color guard as a freshman, and continuing her career at UNI.

Sylvia says, "I was very nervous that they might judge me and say, 'Oh, she can't do it, she can't hear me', or 'She can't hear the music', but they've been very friendly, and I appreciate it."

Fellow color guard member Kiri Hamilton remembers when she first heard about Sylvia wanting to join the team. "It was interesting to think about; to think that somebody was going for it, even though they would have such an obvious setback with it."

Townsend, a freshman from Des Moines Lincoln High School, has handled all challenges at UNI with ease; which may be the biggest surprise for her teammates.

Color guard member Kirstin Gomez says, "She has this great personality, so I feel like nothing's going to get in her way. If she wants to do it, she's determined enough to get it done."

Amy Hunzelman, the coach of the UNI Color Guard says, "What I really most enjoy is her performance and her smile. It's very beautiful to see that passion and that love come through."

As Sylvia continues her journey, even though she may struggle to hear, she refuses to see these obstacles as a setback.

"I don't see, 'difficult' as a negative thing, I take it on as a challenge."

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