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Seahawks idol helps hearing-impaired Bend boy

By Alicia Inns
Published On: Mar 31 2014 08:07:13 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 31 2014 08:19:01 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Alicia Inns follows up with community members after a hearing impaired Bend boys story goes viral.

BEND, Ore. -

We first introduced you to 7-year-old Mason Procknow last week. He was born deaf and now he needs an 'FM System' -- a special wireless microphone, connected to his cochlear implant, allowing him to hear his baseball coach's instructions.

Well, his story went viral and now, one of Mason's biggest idol's has stepped up to help.

It started with a jug at the Bond Street Barber Shop in Bend.

"I decided, 'Let's do a fundraiser and see what we can get.' The little kid just wants to play baseball," owner Jim Wilson said Monday.

At first, $100, $200, $300 collected in just a few days. But after our story aired, and by word of mouth, the donations for Mason new 'FM System' started growing.

"A man who lives in Redmond, who saw it on TV, came in here and dropped off $2,000 and said, 'Tell the kid good luck,' and left -- and I was just like, wow," Wilson said.

It wasn't just a stranger in Redmond who found out about Mason's story.

"I get a text from a buddy that says Derrick Coleman from the Seattle Seahawks just posted this story to his Facebook page," said Mason's coach, Aaron Boehm.

From Facebook friends to Twitter followers, Derrick Coleman, the Seattle Seahawks fullback and the first deaf offensive player in the NFL, posted our link to Mason's story, asking for help.

"I was flying from Orlando to Los Angeles and I saw one of his tweets and read the story. I got off the plane in LAX and my first phone call was to Mason's mom," said Brandon Sawalich, senior vice president for Starkey Hearing Technologies.

Starkey Hearing Technologies partners with Coleman for hearing health awareness.

The company saw Coleman's tweet and offered to get Mason the FM System - for free.

"It's just been great for Mason -- he's a huge football fan, a huge Seahawks fan," Boehm said. "And for Derrick Coleman, one of his idols, to reach out to him and say, 'I want to help you out' -- it was pretty special."

So far, Bond Street Barber Shop has raised $4,062 just from the donation jug alone.

With a lot of community support and the power of social media, Mason and his hearing impaired friend Seth can step up to the plate.

"This is a story you can't make up," Boehm said. "Here's two beautiful, healthy kids that just want to play baseball, that have a little bit of a limitation -- and now they're on the same level playing field as everyone else."

Bond Street Barber Shop is still holding a BBQ Fundraiser for Mason on Sunday, April 13th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. For $30 you get a haircut, beer and a burger.

You can also donate at any of the Bank of Cascades branches under 'Mason Procknow'

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