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For over 20 years, hundreds of thousands have been spellbound by the encouraging and inspiring words of Sue Thomas. Keynote addresses have been heard by such diversified audiences as Future Farmers of America, National Funeral Home Directors, AMWAY Corp, Student Councils, Universities, Civic Groups, Medical Professionals, and many many more. Audiences from a range of a hundred to 45,000 have laughed, cried, and been challenged by her passionate words, tailored to meet the expectations of each audience.
Sue Thomas is profoundly deaf. But nothing can keep this indomitable woman from living her life to the fullest. At the age of 18 months, Sue suffered an instant and total loss of sound. Her devastated parents were told that little Sue would never amount to anything and they should put her in an institution. Her parents made a lifetime vow to do whatever it would take to enable their only daughter to become successful in the 'hearing world'. It took years with speech therapists to develop her voice. While learning to communicate, Sue became an expert lip-reader.
As the only deaf child in her public school district, Sue was misunderstood by her teachers. Although she sat in the front row so she could see the lips of her teachers, much of what happened in the classroom was lost to her. Kids tormented her in the hallways and on the playground. As her world began to spiral downward, Sue spent more and more time at the skating rink. With the help of a determined coach, 7-year-old Sue became the youngest Ohio State Champion freestyle skater in skating history.
In spite of the difficulties in the classroom, Sue applied herself in college and finally graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts with a degree in Political Science and International Affairs. After months of job searching, Sue heard that the FBI was looking for deaf people. Her wildest hopes finally came true when she was hired to work in undercover surveillance reading lips for the FBI agents in Washington DC.
In 2002 the TV series, SUE THOMAS: FBEYE was released. Inspired by Thomas' unique job for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the weekly drama helps to bring more awareness to the lives and abilities of those facing physical challenges. With over 3 million viewers in the US, the popular series has also ben syndicated in 64 nations around the world.
But Sue's compelling story is not finished. In 2001 on her way to speaking engagement in Dallas, she felt a numbness creeping up from her fingers to the top of her head. She managed to deliver her speech to 10,000 people before going to the emergency room. It was her first experience with Multiple Sclerosis, but not her last. Living with MS has become one of Sue's greatest challenges. "Fighting it is a waste of precious energy," she says. It is only by embracing my MS that I learn life's greatest lessons."
Mysteriously deafened at 18 months, Sue Thomas faced her challenges head on to become a skating champion, accomplished pianist, and FBI surveillant. This is the unforgettable story of one woman's courageous journey to break the sound barrier.
Based on her book, Silent Night. Sue tells the journey of a deaf child overcoming all odds to become a success story through the perseverance of the people in her life.
Staying in the Race
This is the honest and open story of how MS changed Sue's life, and how she has learned to face the challenges each new day brings. This chapter “More than a Mascot” tells the story of Katie and how she and Sue together formed a winning team in the daily struggle with Multiple Sclerosis, and how a Special Skills dog like Katie will forever change your outlook on life. Katie was curled up next to Sue on the bed as Sue typed the story out on her trusty Blackberry. (Sue is unable to type on a normal keyboard because the MS affects the use of her hands). No sooner was this book ready to go to press than Sue lost Katie very unexpectedly and quickly. How glad she is that the chapter about Katie was penned in joyful days and is a beautiful reminder of a very happy and lively pup!
Someday You'll Thank Me
Her Mother's Day message of Someday You'll Thank Me is a favorite among all women of all ages. Sue shares the story of how her mother insisted she take piano lessons even though she could not hear the music. Sue's mother often said, "someday, you'll thank me." Now many years later, Sue totally agrees!
Then Sings My Soul
Sue touches the human chord with living proof that music comes from the inside. As one at a women’s retreat wrote, “The surprising concept of a deaf woman having a passionate love of music startled me with the Lord’s way of using the weak to show His Strength.”
Schools, Teacher's Seminars, Educator's Conventions
From Human Target to Secret Weapon for the FBI
Both powerful and transforming as Sue talks about the ‘bullies’ in the classroom and the ‘human targets’ on the playground. Drawing from her own personal experiences as the only deaf kid in her public school district, Sue has a unique ability to reach all school aged youth.
Behind the Scenes with Sue Thomas: FBEye
Go behind the scenes and see that from Sue's earliest recollection, she looked forward to boarding that yellow school bus with her brothers. But as the only deaf child in her community the classroom presented unique learning challenges, compounded by the ridicule and bullying of her classmates. This is the personal testimony of how one teacher's dedication made a life-changing difference.
The Agony of Defeat ... the Joy of Triumph
Sue shares the story of a child full of hopes and dreams ... but a teacher's worst nightmare. Drawing from true life experiences Sue shares that it is only through experiencing failure that we can truly understand success.
Sue champions those who saw potential in a little deaf kid. Although Sue’s silence hindered her learning the academics in the traditional school setting, the life-lessons she took home were far greater than found in any textbook.
Fund Raising Events
In these hard financial times, non-profit organizations become silent sufferers.If you are looking for a voice that can bring your audiences to their feet for your cause the search is over.
A professional motivational speaker for over 20 years, Sue Thomas has found a special niche doing fundraisers for non-profit organizations.Her powerful story of overcoming odds gives her a clear voice that resonates with her audiences.
She has worked with such organizations as the NMSS in all their fundraising capacities (dinner of champions, the Bike, the Walk, luncheons, etc) and has given her voice to raise money for,
Sue is available to speak at your luncheons, Dinner of Champions, or other functions to help bring funding and awareness into your local Chapter.
Diagnosed in 2001 with the devastating disease of Multiple Sclerosis, Thomas knows firsthand what it is to walk the uncertain road. While on her way to a speaking engagement in Dallas, Texas, she felt a numbness in her fingers that spread up her wrist and into the side of her head. Standing before 7,000 people, Sue Thomas managed to finish her speaking session before going to the Emergency Room. After countless tests, bloodwork, and an MRI, the neurologist diagnosed Thomas with Multiple Sclerosis.
In 2002, she was asked to be an Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was honored to be able to stand before the crowds and speak out against this devastating disease.
It was the fall of 2007 before the 1200 plus gathered at the MS National Convention in Texas when Sue Thomas resigned her Ambassadorship. The magazine of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Momentum, reported,
Sue Thomas: FBEye ... TV Series
"Sue Thomas has inspired a TV show and those who hear her speak." ~ Los Angeles Times
Sue Thomas: FBEye ...is a groundbreaking, original drama inspired by the true story of Sue Thomas, who although profoundly deaf from the age of 18 months, overcame significant obstacles to work surveillance for the F.B.I. This coming-of-age, suspenseful drama stars Deanne Bray, a severely deaf actress who like Sue Thomas, was strongly encouraged by her parents to speak and read lips. “Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye” is entertainment aimed not just at hearing audiences, but at the more than 28 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States (10% of the population).
As portrayed in the series, Thomas (Bray) is a somewhat sheltered young deaf woman who has recently graduated from college and is about to start her first real job – which happens to be with the F.B.I. Disappointed when she is relegated to the tedious task of analyzing fingerprints, Sue doesn’t remain there for long. A new acquaintance, F.B.I. agent Jack Hogan (Yannick Bisson) discovers her unique lip reading and enlists her to join the bureau’s elite surveillance team. Suddenly Sue and her hearing dog, Levi, are “G-men,” caught up in a good deal more action than they ever bargained for. But what they lack in experience, they make up for in spirit and enthusiasm.
“This is a precedent-setting series,” says Dave Alan Johnson, co-creator of “Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye.”
“Each week, we’ll present a fast-paced, inside look into high-profile F.B.I. cases based on actual recent and current events,” said Gary R. Johnson, series co-creator. “Corporate scandal, diplomatic immunity, abuses of power and terrorist activity are just some other areas we’ll explore. But the show is about more than that. It’s about the courage, perseverance and humor of Sue Thomas. It will not only keep you on the edge of your seat but will also make you laugh and cry.”
“Sue Thomas’s story is one I deeply understand because like Sue, I’m deaf,” says Bray. “My hope is that this show will not only entertain – I’m sure it will do that- but that it can also be a bridge between different worlds, that it can help everyone understand that we are all more alike than we are different.”
“Finally, audiences will be able to gain a deeper understanding and respect for the individuals who walk the path of silence,” said Sue Thomas, now a motivational speaker and author, who serves as a consultant on the show.
“Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye” was created by Dave Alan Johnson and Gary R. Johnson. It ran from 2002-2006 and is currently syndicated in 62 countries internationally.
In addition to Bray, the cast of “Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye” features Yannick Bisson, Rick Peters, Mark Gomes, Tara Samuel, Ted Atherton, Enuka Okuma and Jesse as Sue’s golden retriever, Levi.
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Fees: Our communicators have flexible fee ranges due to travel distance, the number of presentations they'll make, and whether or not an event is one day or multiple days. Contact our office for specific information on these variables. Call us at 800.871.9012 ext. 40250.
Sue is available for business, corporate, and non-faith based events
“I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to recommend Sue Thomas’ services as a speaker to any organization. She is a person of rare gifts and qualities.” ~ Dr. James Dobson, Focus On the Family
We laughed, we cried, and we experienced the love of Jesus through Sue and her amazing story.” ~ Michelle Cavinder, Crystal Cathedral’s International Women’s Conference