Linda Cheek moved to Springfield when she was 14 years old. She graduated from Parkview High School and soon got married, had children and searched for what to do with her life after her youngest daughter went to first grade. She felt the call to go to college, so she went to Central Bible College where she learned American Sign Language and took all the Deaf related classes they offered. She immediately got involved with the Deaf community and became and Interpreter. She has interpreted in church, taught sign language classes at church and at schools and taught her whole family sign language. She was an Educational Interpreter for 7 years before going to work for Alternative Opportunities where she works with a Deaf client teaching life skills. Linda and her husband Mike, are foster parents for Deaf children and have adopted four children, three of them are Deaf and they are currently fostering a daughter who is deaf. They also have 5 biological children which means they have a total of ten children! Six of their children have moved out, leaving four kids still at home. They also have four grandsons. Mike and Linda received the Everyday Hero Award in 2004 from the American Red Cross and KY-3 for their work with Deaf children. Linda is co-founder of Deaf Awareness Group OF SW Missouri. She helped start this group because of the needs she saw in her own Deaf children and family. She is a hard worker and has big plans for the future of Deaf Awareness Group Of SW Missouri.
Marilyn Carter and her husband, John, grew up in Canton, MO, a small town in
Northern Missouri. During the first few years of their marriage John's career took
them to different states such as SC, IL, MN and MO. Marilyn and John spent
many years wanting children, after seven years of marriage they consulted with
fertility specialists, and really could not find a reason why they were
unsuccessful. They decided not to pursue the fertility route and possibly suffer
the expense and heart break of unsuccessful attempts of pregnancy. They
instead, decided to look into adopting children in foster care. In 1993 they found
a beautiful baby boy, Shaun, who happened to be deaf and adopted him. Then
came Mary, Crystal and Tyler who they adopted through foster care and became
a large family with 4 kids! They were happy, busy and enjoying giving the kids
the love, support and experiences they may have never had the chance to have.
Then SURPRISE!! After sixteen and a half years of marriage, Marilyn and John
learned that they were expecting a child! Richard John (R.J) was born in
November 2002. Over the years, the Carters have had experiences with the
Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri School's for the Deaf. Marilyn has been grateful
for the Deaf Awareness Group, not only has Shaun made friends, and has
people to communicate with, the whole family has made new friends, learned
more information, enjoyed communicating (the whole family-is still working on
expanding their sign language capabilities) and being active with the Deaf
Tishia Chambers is a dedicated mother of 3 and wife to Michael, whom owns a carving business. They reside in Missouri, where they met, and where Tishia moved to play professional women's football. She lovingly refers to her children as "Trollhead", "Wigglebutt", and "Snicklebritches" when talking over the Internet. Tishia has been deaf since infancy and grew up isolated from the deaf world, but recently discovered ASL and thethat she missed out on. She enjoys volunteering for various organizations and is excited to join the Deaf Awareness Group's Officer Team as the Coordinator for the wonderful "Deaf Helping Deaf" program. Tishia looks forward to using her creativity to revamp the program into something even better and thanks you all for giving her such a wonderful opportunity!