2-year-old cancer survivor hears for 1st time: 'Her whole body started to tremble'

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – For a little girl named Grace, sound is expected to get sweeter.

The 2-year-old had cochlear implants activated at Cleveland Clinic Children’s, allowing Grace to hear her own name and mother’s voice for the first time.

“All of a sudden, hearing all of these things, it’s very overwhelming to her,” said Grace’s mother, Valerie Revell-Rosian, of Strongsville, Ohio. “It's a lot, I would imagine, to take on, so when we did put it on, her whole body started to tremble.”

The milestone was one of many for Grace, who is a two-time cancer survivor born with Down syndrome. Revell-Rosian said Grace was born with Transient Myeloproliferative disorder, a form of leukemia.

“She was born with a form of leukemia and immediately started treatment the second day she was born,” said Revell-Rosian. “She was born two months premature, so she only weighed a little bit over four pounds when she started her chemotherapy.”

WJW featured Grace's story after her monthslong hospital stay in 2018.

Grace’s mother said she was in the process of learning American Sign Language to better communicate with Grace, and she believed the cochlear implants would allow her daughter to develop stronger verbal speech.

"I don't ever want to put limitations on her," Revell-Rosian said.