With a milestone birthday approaching I have decided to set myself a few challenges and hope to do some fundraising as a by-product of this.
I enjoy swimming and have recently enjoyed a number of open water swims, these will form the core of my challenge.
I have identified a charity that does work to help raise awareness of the causes of deafness and provide support in countries where this has not been a priority. The UK has among the best audiology care in the world which means that kids hearing is routinely tested and early causes of hearing loss are dealt with before they start school. This is what the Sound Seekers charity is bringing to the countries it is operating in.
The impact of hearing loss is something I am familiar with, most notably since my mum has worn hearing aids for over 40 years. Her experiences, dealing with the NHS, have varied which I think emphasises the invisibility of this particular issue.
A prime example of this was that she had to argue her case to get 2 hearing aids. She has hearing loss in both ears, so you'd think that would have been an obvious thing to give her, but not according to one audioligist. If an optician tested both your eyes then suggested giving you a monocle for your best eye you'd soon tell him where to go wouldn't you?
When I was a teenager I used to write cheques out for her and she would sign them when we were shopping. The background music made it difficult for her hear the name of the shop to write out, so this was the quickest way to get round that. For those too young to remember either cheques or the necessity to write them out, the shop name rarely matched the name that had to be entered for the payee!
She used to get sympathetic smiles from most assistants. I wished there was a badge that she could wear which said "Deaf NOT Daft!"
So what am I doing you ask having got this far?
50 swims @50
The longest swim should be on September 6th at Coniston Water and is 5.25 miles long.
There will be other challenges along the way as I build up to that and I will share to hopefully raise money over the course of 2014.
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