Patricia Malone who has lived in Alva for 17 years aims to walk between six to eight hours each day during a two-week trek from the Nepal capital, Kathmandu, to Base Camp on Mount Everest to raise funds for the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland.
Having been fitted with a hearing aid earlier this year, Patricia is determined that hearing loss wouldn’t stop her doing what she wants to do and cited newsreader Lewis Vaughan Jones as her inspiration after he recently spoke publicly about his own experience of suddenly losing hearing at the age of 37.
Patricia Malone, 50, said: “My hearing loss, which was caused by viral Labyrinthitis, was partial but sudden. I didn’t fully appreciate my hearing until I lost it. I lost hearing at higher frequencies so it is hard for me to catch what people are saying when there is background noise. It takes time to benefit fully from a hearing aid because your brain needs to adapt, but I am already noticing that it is helping me in social situations.
“After my diagnosis, Action on Hearing Loss Scotland helped me to adjust to using hearing aids and I’ve also been trying to learn lipreading to help me fill in the gaps when I’ve missed hearing parts of conversations.
“Like Lewis Vaughan Jones, I think it is important people are open about hearing loss and use the range of information and support that is available from charities like Action on Hearing Loss Scotland to minimise its impact on everyday life and become empowered to ask people to repeat what they’ve said.
“I’ve decided to raise money for the charity and, for the past 20 months, I have been training towards this trek, which is one of the biggest personal challenges of my life! I’ve been walking the hills close to home and tackling Munros across Scotland in my preparation for Everest and reaching a height of 5,545 metres (18,192 feet) above sea level.
“I can’t wait to get started and would appreciate any sponsorship donations which people can afford to give.”
Lewis Vaughan Jones said: “I wish Patricia every success with her amazing challenge ascending Everest and her fundraising for Action on Hearing Loss. I encourage everyone to follow Patricia’s example by being open about using hearing aids and asking friends, family and people you meet to communicate in the best ways that work for you, so that you can fully participate in social occasions, do your work or even trek to the world’s highest mountain!”
To donate to Patricia’s Trek to Everest Base Camp go to:https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/patricia-malone