Clock2Rock – Duncan and Kevin cycle from Big Ben to Gibraltar Rock
On the 22nd of December 2010, at eight weeks old, my younger son was diagnosed as profoundly deaf in both ears (not a date we will forget in a hurry).
As you can imagine this was difficult news to take on board and understand. At first the natural reaction is “why him” and then as a parent you start to worry about what their future holds. The “why” has been subsequently explained through the clinical evidence and the genetic lottery we all take part in at conception.
The question of the future is all together a wider and more worrying question. At the time as a family it was difficult to see beyond the next week, but then our excellent Teacher of the Deaf – Alison – recommended a small and vital charity DELTA (Deaf Education through Listening and Talking).
DELTA supports a Natural Aural approach which for Dewi is perfect. The approach concentrates on maximizing the residual hearing children and young adults have, through the best use of technology. By exploiting a child’s development it can be monitored and supported relative to the normal stages. The emphasis here is to ensure a natural environment is maintained, including a mainstream education with his hearing big brother.
DELTA also provides an amazing service to the parents of deaf children. My wife, Rhi, and I had both had very little exposure to any level of deafness so it was overwhelming at first. DELTA offered us a level of support and information which broke down the unknowns and helped to remove our fears around Dewi’s future. This information sharing is ongoing and changes focus as your child develops.
To give a little back, starting on the 15th of September 2012, I am doing this (slightly crazy) challenge of cycling from Big Ben to Gibraltar Rock over 15 days; a total distance of 1460 miles. The brains behind the event is a friend and colleague, Kevin Sell, Global Hosting Centres Director, Telstra Global who is also riding for DELTA. To try and put this in perspective I have highlighted the salient facts below:
- Total of 1460 miles over 15 days, 97 miles per day
- Equivalent to running 20.9 marathons, 1.4 marathons per day
- Additional calorie burn: 11.5 Big Macs or 26.5 Pints of Guinness per day
This event definitely represents a once in a lifetime challenge (I’m not doing it again Kev!!). Please give generously so DELTA can continue to help deaf children and their families through difficult times and so they can reach normal ‘hearing’ outcomes. Check out the link to the charity page on Just Giving for more details.