Ocean City Today

Jacob’s Ride for cochlear implants ends Sunday in OC

Landis will dip front bike tire into ocean, completing transcontinental journey
By Brian Gilliland | Jul 16, 2015
Photo by: Lois Landis Jacob Landis

(July 17, 2015) Between the ages of 2-10, Annapolis native Jacob Landis gradually lost his hearing for reasons that remain unexplained.

According to his father, Randy, the year Jacob finally went deaf was the year cochlear implants became small enough for everyday use. Rehab went well, Randy said, and Jacob was able to experience a normal tenure in middle and high school. In his teenage years, he became both an avid bicyclist and a rabid Orioles fan.

“In October 2012, he decided to take six months off from work and bike to every baseball stadium to watch a game,” Randy said.

This story doesn’t end how it appears.

Jacob watched the game at his 29th stadium, Tampa Bay, before embarking on the three-day journey to Miami and the finish line. He was struck by a hit-and-run driver, Randy said, and left for dead.

He spent much of 2014 recovering and filled his time making public appearances discussing cochlear implants with three key groups. The first group consists of teen and young adults adjusting to their implants, the second is couples whose babies are deaf and are considering an implant and the third group is doctors and audiologists who treat patients.

When he had recovered enough to ride, he married his public speaking and riding careers and launched Jacob’s Ride, where he raises money to donate implants to those who can’t afford them, and makes public appearances speaking about the procedure along the way.

This year’s ride will end in Ocean City this Sunday. Jacob Landis will meet OCPD Bike Patrol at 146th Street at 3:30 p.m., will ride down to 119th Street and dip his front tire in the Atlantic Ocean, symbolizing the end of his journey for this year.

After that, he will travel to the Gold Coast Mall on 115th Street for a short reception. Quota International, a service organization for professional women, is a sponsor of the event and Ocean City Chapter President Mary Beth Tkach will present Jacob with a $500 donation during the reception.

“We’ve chosen to empower deaf and hard-of-hearing children,” Tkach said.

Jacob has raised $30,000 this year. Though implants cost between $75,000 and $100,000, Jacob donates the proceeds to The Gift of Hearing Foundation, which works with numerous other organizations to turn each $10,000 he raises into an implant for one child.

“He wants to give as many kids the opportunity to hear as he can,” Randy said.

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