Ethan Hayes has the heart for rid­ing

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - TA­MARA THORN

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.

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