CINCINNATI - Jacob Landis wants to share with others a gift that changed his world.
At 10-years-old, after slowly losing all hearing, the Annapolis, Md. resident received cochlear implants that brought sound to his world again.
That was in 1999 when, the first words Jacob heard with his new hearing aide was his father asking, "Jake, what does it sound like?"
On Saturday afternoon, the 24-year-old rolled into Cincinnati as part of a 10,500 mile bicycle ride to visit all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums and to raise $1 million so someone who may not be able to afford them can receive cochlear implants.
"Cochlear implants is pretty much my number one cause," Jacob said at Great American Ball Park before the Reds 4:10 p.m. game. "I kind of just thought, I can go wherever I want to go with this bike ride. I've always been a huge baseball fan."
Jacob, who threw out the ceremonial pre-game pitch for the Reds, began his ride April 3 at National Park and plans to finish at Marlins Park in Florida on Sept 24.
"I started reviewing all 30 team schedules," he said. "I was blown away by just how long it would take."
It was because of the amount of time and commitment, about 80 miles and 5 and a half hours of riding a day, that Jacob said he also decided to set a $1 million fundraising goal, compared to the $20,000 to $30,000 goal set for most cross country charity bike rides.
"Let's just go just go for $1 million," Jacob said. "We wanted to go long beyond the average amount."
According to Jacob's website, http://www.jacobsride.com , hearing impairment is now the number one birth defect among children born in the United States, with 500,000 Americans with severe to profound hearing loss.
While just over a month into his trip, Jacob said he's loved the rivalry among some ball clubs in terms of what they've done to support his mission – from the Yankees giving him and supporters tickets at face value, to the next team donating tickets for free.
He's also finding comfort in the support of those whose home he stays at to the drivers he shares the road with.
"What I think is cool is getting honked at by the trucks," Jacob said. "That's been sort of fun. As a cyclist I'm used to be honked at in anger, but its nice to be honked at in support."
Jacob is accepting donations to reach his goal through the www.jacobsride.com website, or by texting JACOB to 50555 to give $10 to the Hearing Loss Association of America.
Those interested can also follow Jacob's progress at @JacobsRide2013, https://twitter.com/JacobsRide2013, on Twitter and check out Jacob's Ride, http://www.facebook.com/JacobsRide2013?fref=ts, on Facebook.
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