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CHETEK, Wis. -- High School senior Nathan Sundvall loves his job at Kwik Trip in Chetek, Wis., and the occasional frustration he has with understanding people because of his hearing impairment does not stop him from enjoying himself there, according to a report in The Chetek Alert.
Due to complications during pregnancy and at birth, Sundvall was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and a hearing impairment days after he was born, but surprised doctors and was able to attend school in Cameron, Wis., using interpreters to help him through classes. About four years ago, Sundvall received cochlear implants, improving his hearing, and according to his mother, Cindy Shirley, who manages a Rice Lake Kwik Trip, he can probably hear about half of everything most people can, according to the report.
"Nathan is smart, a hard worker and would do whatever someone asked him," said Shirley in the Chetek Alert report. "But because of his disability, it is not an easy thing to get a job."
However, Chetek's Kwik Trip manager Cindy Blaeser, decided to give him a try, and he began working in March.
"At first when I started, it was hard," said Sundvall, using his mom as an interpreter. "But I just had to keep on trying things for a while. My mom finally asked me if I wanted to quit. I told her 'no' and that I wanted to keep working. Month after month, it got better. My feet and body weren't hurting anymore."
Sundvall does a variety of jobs at Kwik Trip from stocking shelves and the cooler to cleaning or buffing the floor.
"When I started I had a lot of help, but I've been here nine months and have gotten smarter and know what to do," Sundvall said in the report.
Sundvall recently received his driver's license, and this, along with his new job and truck, give him a sense of pride in the independence he earned.
Sundvall doesn't plan on going to college, but according to the report, the smile on his face when he talked about his job at Kwik Trip suggested he just might make a career out of it.
"I love my job," he said with a huge grin.