Abigail's decision to apply for The Bachelor was spontaneous
Abigail's mother Suzie Heringer told a local Salem newspaper, the Statesman Journal, her daughter applied for The Bachelor "on a whim" and the decision was a bit "out of character" for Abigail.
Suzie says Abigail was ultimately afforded the chance to compete for Matt's heart on the show because Abigail was furloughed from her job due to the coronavirus pandemic and had a lot of free time on her hands in Fall 2020.
Abigail is the first hearing-impaired person The Bachelor has ever had
Abigail and her older sister Rachel were both born with congenital hearing loss, according to the Statesman Journal.
Abigail reportedly underwent cochlear implantation surgery at age two at Oregon Health & Science University and the procedure was a success.
The newspaper reported that when Rachel was two years old, she was the youngest patient to undergo cochlear implantation surgery at Oregon Health & Science University.
Two years old was the earliest age possible at the time to undergo the procedure per FDA guidelines.
Abigail's parents still live in Salem, where her father Weston Heringer III works as a pediatric dentist, according to the Statesman Journal.
Abigail's older sister Rachel is reportedly her roommate and an account manager for an insurance company in Portland.
Abigail also has two younger brothers, Alistair, a freshman at Oregon State University, and Stuart, a high school senior who attends Shattuck-St. Mary's in Minnesota.
Abigail's mother Suzie Heringer initially thought a reality show isn't a great way to meet your forever person, but Abigail's family was reportedly supportive overall of her decision to compete onThe Bachelor.
Abigail's family figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity she couldn't pass up.
Suzie didn't expect Abigail to share so much about her disability
Abigail's mother was surprised Abigail was willing to be so open and upfront with Matt.
"I was surprised she was willing to share her story about her hearing loss," Suzie told the Statesman Journal. "It's something she usually doesn't talk much about."
Suzie added, "With her disability, if that can impact one other person, it's worth sharing the story."