Cycling to help Heart Kids across NZ
A 10-year-old boy who has been pedalling furiously for four years to raise money for children with heart defects, has now found out he has a heart condition too.
Four years ago, when he was six, Ethan Hayes, entered his first ever 5km Heart Ride - part of the Great Lake Taupo¯ Cycle Challenge.
Ethan was not a Heart Kid himself, and didn’t have any family members with heart issues either. He just wanted to help.
‘‘When we did the entry I asked Dad what Heart Kids was. When I found out these kids were really sick and needed lots of operations I decided I would help them as much as I could,’’ Ethan said.
The following year he raised $500 for Heart Kids as part of the Cycle Challenge, and then $1000 in 2015 and another $1000 last year.
And then last year Ethan’s doctor discovered a small hole in his heart which causes a heart murmur. This was when he was showing Ethan how a stethoscope works.
Ethan’s Dad David Hayes said it don’t stop Ethan from doing anything.
‘‘He has no limitations. The hole is 2mm and is something that will eventually fix itself. He just has a unique heart beat that all the other kids don’t have.’’
David said, as a parent, it was really cool to see Ethan taking such an interest in helping other people.
Ethan has also done the 16km Cycle Challenge ride with his grandad, and last year he finished the Fast 40, 40km ride, which he will do again this year.
David said last year people looked as though they were struggling to get up the Hatepe Hill and wanted to give up until they saw Ethan giving it his all to get up and overtaking adult riders. This encouraged them to keep going.
‘‘One guy from a group of Australian riders dropped back to pat Ethan on the back and congratulate him and ask how old he was. It was cool.’’
David said he hopes that more people get out and ride with their kids.
‘‘It is a really great time to be with your kids.’’
Ethan wants to raise as much money for Heart Kids as he can, and needs as many donations as possible.
A page has been set up to help Ethan raise as much money as he can https://cycleforheartkids2017.everydayhero.com/nz/hayes