Cycling to help Heart Kids across NZ

Taupo Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - TAMARA THORN

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

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