Jacob Landis and the Nonprofit Jacob’s Ride
In 2013, cochlear implant (CI) recipient Jacob Landis rode his bike on a nearly 11,000 mile journey. The goal: raise funds for those who could benefit from a CI, but who could not afford one because the device and surgery is expensive (and often not covered by insurance).
Prior to leaving Annapolis on the ambitious journey, Jacob, and his all-volunteer team, formed the nonprofit charity known as Jacob’s Ride for Hearing. Since its inception, Jacob has appeared at more than 200 events, in 40 states and has spoken to 20,000-plus individuals.
The organization continues to be the leading national nonprofit charity spreading awareness and raising funds for cochlear implant surgeries.
So, how does Chesapeake Holistic fit into the story?…
Ask Jennifer: I saw the organization name Jacob’s Ride recently and remember CH being involved with them. What’s the scoop?
Jacob’s story is really interesting because he was born with hearing and lost it over time, so he knew what he was missing. He went into a deep depression as an adolescent; however, the implant he received brought him out of it.
The fundraising bicycle ride came about from a conversation with his dad on their front porch. Jacob talked about his love of baseball, biking and helping the hearing-impaired…
He decided to merge all three for a good cause: riding his bike to all 30 Major League ballparks throughout the US, to raise funds to underwrite the cost of CI surgeries for others.
A few months later, I met them at a party and offered CH sponsorship to help Jacob get fit and to gain weight before the ride. We provided him with protein powders and healthy sports drink powder for the road.
Truthfully, I thought there was no way we’d be able to get this lean young man ready for a journey around the country!
After riding for six months, and more than 10,000 miles on his bike, during the final stretch (a visit to Marlins stadium in Miami, FL) Jacob was struck by a semi-truck.
The hit-and-run accident, while not life threatening, was serious: Jacob had shattered cheekbones, a broken-nose, broken teeth and several gashes, as well as significant nerve damage to his left wrist, hand and forearm.
Not deterred, the following spring, after recovery, Jacob returned to Florida and rode that last 180 miles to finish the journey. He was one determined young man!!
Jacob continues his mission to help others who could benefit from a cochlear implant, although not always on his bike.
He regularly speaks at events, camps and conferences, and Jacob frequently meets with medical professionals and CI candidates and their families.
He graduated from the University of Maryland and works as a buyer for Whole Foods. Jacob has also become a bilateral CI recipient and is engaged to be married this fall!
Cochlear implants remain the most successful medical intervention for those who are deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. Unfortunately, this life-altering device is still financially out of reach for many.
To date, Jacob’s Ride has helped 15 individuals gain the gift of hearing; the 16th surgery in scheduled for June 27, 2019!
To learn more about Jacob’s Ride, and how to support their mission, visit jacobsride.org.
Jennifer Salos, MS, CNC
Jennifer has a Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition. She is also a nationally Certified Nutritional Consultant and Diplomat of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants.