Deaf News: Deaf couple to pedal across America’s Death Valley for charity

Posted on September 14, 2015

A couple from Colchester – who are both deaf – are planning to cycle over 260 miles across Death Valley in the USA in a bid to raise money for charity Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID).

Andy Taylor, 32, and his partner Sharon, 30, will be using pedal power for the week-long challenge in November 2015 and will ride along a route that climbs in total over 21,000 feet, with the bright lights of Las Vegas as their final destination.

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 10.19.18Andy has been deaf since the age of two as a result of meningitis – the same age that partner Sharon lost her hearing. British Sign Language is the couple’s only way of communicating, which will bring an added challenge to the fundraising event.

Andy explains: “We will be the only deaf people in the group of a dozen, but the tricky bit is that there will be no conversation between us as we cycle because we will be holding the handle bars and unable to use our hands to communicate. As we can’t sign with each other we’ll use our vision a lot more to take on what’s going on around us. We wanted to take on the challenge, despite friends and family calling us crazy, as it really will be an achievement to be proud of and for such a great cause.”

Sharon and Andy hope to raise over £6,000 to support Action on Hearing Loss, who give people support and care in communities, develop technology and treatments, and campaign for equality for the one in six people affected by some form of hearing loss across the UK.

David Steadman, Executive Director for Fundraising & Marketing at charity Action on Hearing Loss, said:

“Taking on a bike ride across Death Valley is a huge challenge – we’re incredibly grateful that Andy and Sharon are going above and beyond to raise money to help our life-changing work supporting hundreds of thousands of people confronting deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus each and every day.”

The Death Valley Cycle Challenge runs from 7th to 14th November 2015.To support their fundraising efforts, please visit their fundraising pages

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