Shane Prendergast: Please support my 3328 mile cycle ride across America to raise money for deaf children

Posted on September 9, 2015

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Hello, I’m Shane. I’m a 29 year old Web Developer based in Cheshire and I’m going to cycle across America to raise money for children with deafness or cancer.

I was informed I was deaf when I was around 12 years of age and I’ve been profoundly deaf and dependent on hearing aids since I was around 21.

My first recollection of my hearing loss was when I failed a hearing test at secondary school. There was some concern that my hearing seemed to be getting progressively worse at such a young age. I was given two ITE Starkey hearing aids and was subject to special attention at school, something I really hated.

Watch Shane’s video below:

Despite my failing hearing I was reluctant to wearing my aids and open up to my deafness. I didn’t actually wear aids full-time until I was around around 20 years of age when my hearing declined rapidly.

I started university at 21 and it was incredibly difficult for me to embrace – and adapt to – being deaf. I grew my hair long to cover my aids, spoke when I was spoken to and was generally on edge with nerves every time I had to engage in conversation.

I will never forget the teacher asking a question and going round all the students individually for their answer. Unfortunately I hadn’t heard the original question and the more I tried to concentrate on the answers other students were giving, the more I was beginning to panic.

RFTC-24When the teacher reached me I would be bright red and have absolutely no idea what to say. The embarrassment of admitting you had no idea what the question was in front of the whole class was demoralising.

Since graduating from university three years ago I have found myself in a profession that I absolutely love. As I’ve matured I’ve really embraced my deafness and I’m very open and positive about my hearing. I’m eager to inform people of my disability and most people are incredibly supportive and understanding.

Being deaf has undoubtedy been the biggest challenge of my life and I’m eager to help assist young deaf children through the difficult challenges they face.

Throughout my childhood my father was involved in several charity bike rides including across America (named Ride For The Child), Australia, Canada and around the coast of Britain. He raised over £52k for charity.

Shane and his Dad

Shane and his Dad

I didn’t really understand the magnitude of his achievements at the time, but as I’ve matured it’s something I’m immensely proud of my father for.

San Francisco to New York is around 3200 miles and I’m going to be cycling it over a period of 28 days. Averaging 120 miles a day, I will cross 11 states and proceed through four timezones. Cycling a distance which is almost 40% further than the Tour De France and travelling a higher average distance per day, it’s not a challenge for the faint-hearted.

I am riding for two charities.

– Action on Hearing Loss in order to help assist deaf children though the challenging periods of their life.

– My second charity is CLIC Sargent who help children and young people with cancer.

My mother has just fought and beaten breast cancer and she’s doing great. However the experience was so traumatic and I can’t even begin to imagine the pain, confusion and heartache young children – and their families – must experience during cancer.

Support Shane’s journey by clicking here. Please take a look at the website:  www.rideforthechild.co.uk.

If you’re interested in following my journey I’m on twitter @rideforthechild and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/rideforthechild).

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