Ethan Hayes has the heart for riding
A 10-year-old Masterton 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 of his own.
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, while a doctor was showing Ethan how a stethoscope worked, a small hole in his heart was discovered.
Ethan’s dad David Hayes said the diagnosis hadn’t stopped his son 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.’’
Hayes 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.
This year Ethan is planning to tackle the 40km ride again, in the hopes to motivate and encourage others to take part and not give up.
He frequently trains around Wairarapa roads and even though his dad is out of action due to a shoulder operation, other local riders accompany him on training rides.
David Hayes, who has completed the Cycle Challenge, said he hoped more people would get out and ride with their kids.
‘‘It is a really great time to be with your kids.’’
‘‘Ethan and I ride around a lot together, we cruise around twice a week and go mountain biking.’’
Ethan wants to raise as much money for Heart Kids as he can, and needs as many donations as possible.
Donations can be made via cycleforheartkids2017.everydayhero.com/nz/hayes.
Clive Peters and Ethan Hayes train for the upcoming Taupo¯ Cycle Challenge.