Dad takes up challenge for charity

08/10/14
Raiyaan helps his dad, Baker, prepare for Spring Cycle

Sydney dad, Baker, is taking up the challenge for charity in Bicycle NSW’s Spring Cycle. Baker is using the ride to fundraise for Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC), which supports his son, Raiyaan, who has hearing loss. 

Diagnosed with moderate hearing loss at birth, Raiyaan received two hearing aids at six weeks of age.

“There is no history of hearing loss in our family so it was an absolute shock,” said Baker. “It was very confronting for us as parents and it was an emotional time. You just want the best for your child.

“It was also hard because, as Muslims, one of our religious rituals is reciting the call to prayer into the ears of your newborn. When Raiyaan was diagnosed we realised he may not have been able to hear that prayer.”

At three months of age Raiyaan began accessing intensive weekly speech and language sessions through RIDBC Early Learning Program (Hearing Impairment).

“RIDBC has given us the skills we need to communicate with our son,” said Baker. “The progress Raiyaan has made is fantastic. He turns two just two days before Spring Cycle, and with RIDBC’s support his vocabulary increases every single day.”

Baker wanted to use Spring Cycle to support RIDBC.

“Firstly, Spring Cycle gave me an opportunity to convince my wife I wasn’t lazy - I had to commit to a regular training schedule!” said Baker. “At the beginning I thought that 55kms was completely unachievable – but I’ve been training hard and have recently ridden 33km, so I’m on my way!

“When I found out that I could use the ride to fundraise for RIDBC it was a eureka moment. My wife, Farida, and I often feel like, as humans, we tend to just take and take. It’s so often about ‘what’s in it for me?’ This fundraising ride was a moment when we said, hang on, RIDBC has done so much for us, let’s give back.

“These are the values we want to instill in our son – one day I can show him what RIDBC has done for him, and what his dad did for them. I am already the happiest father in the world but I will be even happier when I can do this ride with my son, and he can be part of the process of giving back.”

Baker aims to raise $5500 for RIDBC.

“We originally aimed to raise $1710 as Raiyaan was born on 17 October,” said Baker. “Our coworkers, family and friends were so supportive we hit that goal in less than a week, so we’ve just kept on going!

“Before Raiyaan was born we had so little knowledge of the amazing volunteers, charities and people who give their blood, sweat and tears to ensure children like Raiyaan can achieve the best outcomes. I am an extremely proud Australian citizen and I am so indebted to RIDBC and this beautiful country for doing so much for my son.”

To donate to Baker's cycle, head to http://bit.ly/BakerCycle

RIDBC is Australia’s largest non-government provider of therapy, education and diagnostic services for people with hearing or vision loss, supporting thousands of adults, children and their families, each year.

RIDBC relies heavily on fundraising and community support to be able to continue to make a difference in children's lives.  In order to maintain its intensive educational and research programs, the organisation needs to raise approximately $2.5 million every month.