The fact that Steve wears hearing aids is far from the most interesting thing about this Boston-based chemist. In his Voices of Audicus interview, Steve gave us a window into his life-saving work, his passions for boating, fishing, and photography, and shared the positive impact hearing aids have made in his life, while also just not being a big deal for him.
Steve is a chemist who works in Boston on a rare illness to provide life-saving treatments
I’m a chemist who works in pharmaceuticals in Boston. We make vaccines for people with a rare illness, only 50 thousand cases worldwide, called Gaucher’s disease. Usually, these kids pass away by age 3 or 4 because they’re missing a liver enzyme, they have a massive liver and it literally kills them. This treatment came out in the 80s it’s a replacement for the enzyme that their body does not make. They get the injections every 2 weeks and live perfectly healthy lives just like the rest of us.
Boston is a hub for this work, with MIT, Harvard and all the others we have a massive biotech industry in Boston. It’s because you have all the hospitals with Harvard, Tufts, UMass medical all those big healthcare centers so the biotech industry, in Cambridge especially, is phenomenal.
The Boston native will tell you right away, the best thing about the city is being close to the water for the freshest seafood
I grew up in a suburb of Boston but lived in Cape Cod for awhile working with a company there then ended up back here. I like that it’s right next to the ocean so the seafood is phenomenal. They actually tried opening those Red Lobsters and it literally didn’t take. You have all these mom and pop clam shacks that opened in the 1950s as roadside stands that are still here cuz the food is phenomenal, good stuff, nice and fresh.
“They actually tried opening those Red Lobsters and it literally didn’t take.”
An avid boater and fisher, Steve takes full advantage of living on the coast
I do a lot of boating and saltwater fly fishing in Boston. During the winter months, it’s football and fly tying season, because the fish actually migrate. At the end of October, they head south for the Florida waters and around March they head back up north and get here around April. So from April ’til October, it’s saltwater fishing season.
Right now we get a lot of striped bass and it’s excellent eating. For stripers the record size is 85 pounds, they get pretty massive.
“I usually go boating to fish, but then there’s mom who just loves her pleasure cruises”
I usually go boating to fish, but then there’s mom who just loves her pleasure cruises. There’s a picture of me on the boat when mom wanted a ride. We took off on a summer day and one of the neighbors happened to be going by and snapped it.
The fish aren’t the only ones who migrate, springtime means exploring Arizona for Steve where he captures wildlife through photography and pans for gold
My parents spend summers in Arizona. In the springtime, I always go out do a lot of hiking, exploring, and a little gold panning. There’s a famous place to pan called Lynx Creek. You’re not gonna get rich but you’ll find a few flakes.
I also do photography, usually wildlife. I’ve got some beautiful shots in Arizona of hummingbirds. Neat stuff, pictures where I’m out walking and turn around and there’s a pronghorn antelope. The only one I regret, and it kills me, is I walked out the backyard and there was a saguaro cactus and a bobcat that was looking at me. I thought, “what a spectacular picture that could be,” and walked slowly to get my camera. And when I came back out, a neighbor’s dog started barking at me and it scared the cat. That would have been a spectacular picture of the head peeking around the cactus.
Until he got hearing aids, Steve hadn’t realized the little things he’d been missing
It was funny because last week the neighbors invite us to dinner and there were 3 or 4 groups sitting around the table. With the hearing aids in, they pick up so much. I never really knew how much I missed. I mean one of the weirdest things was the 1st day I got the hearing aids I was walking upstairs and hear this rustling and it’s my pants!
“I start typing on my laptop and I’m like, I can hear the keys clicking and I never knew they did that!”
I got to work and put them in and I’m hearing all these hissing sounds. I’m thinking there’s something in the hearing aids. Well, it turns out that hissing was that they were vacuuming the rug on the 1st floor. Then I start typing on my laptop and I can hear the keys clicking. I never knew they did that!
But still boasts stellar vision
I go 80 miles out on my buddy’s boat and I’ll look off and say I see a bunch of birds out there, head that way, cuz out in the ocean, birds are your feathered signposts. When you see a bunch of birds diving on spot there’s obviously like little bait fish that are getting pushed up by bigger fish underneath. My vision has never changed. I went for my latest eye exam and they say, “start at the top line,” and I say, “no I’ll start at the bottom and work up!”
Steve hopes his positivity and story will help others
If this story gets to someone else and gives them the idea: “Yeah, you know I should get a hearing aid,” I’m all for it, cuz I know it’s so definitely improved my life.
“If this story gets to someone else and gives them the idea: “Yeah, you know I should get a hearing aid,” I’m all for it, cuz I know it’s so definitely improved my life.”
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