One Canadian man proved anything is possible when you believe in yourself.
Mike Shoreman knew he could do it, so he did. He crossed all five Great Lakes in one summer via a paddleboard.
“Mike did it. It shows how successful he is. What an accomplishment. He has set a great example for young Canadians,” said former mayor of Mississauga Hazel Mccallion.
How a Man With Disabilities Crossed 5 Lakes on a Paddleboard
The Toronto-born man reached the northwest shore of Lake Ontario on August 12. “It’s been a lot, so I’m very emotional, but I’m really happy,” said Shoreman.
Shoreman is the first person to complete the course since 1988 and the first person with a disability to complete it.
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He was diagnosed with Ramsay Hunt syndrome — a disorder that severely impacts vision, speech, and mobility — back in 2018.
Though this diagnosis halted his paddleboarding business, it also inspired his paddling journey.
After the diagnosis spurred a mental breakdown, Shoreman received a lot of help from those around him. They were his motivation to go on this voyage.
“It’s pretty incredible,” said Shoreman’s father, Roger. “And to do all five lakes it’s pretty amazing.”
The expedition began in May at Lake Erie and wound through Lake Huron, Lake Superior, and Lake Michigan.
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Shoreman partnered with Jack.org, a national organization that focuses on youth mental health.
“My goal with this is to help put mental health programs and services that they provide in schools, high schools, colleges, and universities here in Ontario; and in every province and territory,” Shoreman said.
How One Man Proved the Importance of Resilience
The support has not only meant a lot to Shoreman but to the Canadian youth he is hoping to help by raising this money.
“Canadian young people are watching this and they’re seeing Canadians show up and they’re seeing that people care. And that’s really important,” he said.
So far, Shoreman and his team have raised almost $64,000 for Jack.org, well within reach of their goal of $100,000.
Shoreman proves that despite setbacks, a person can achieve whatever they want to. His resilience is an inspiration and his dedication to helping Canadian youth is a reminder to all of those struggling teenagers and pre-teens that they matter.
You can achieve anything you set your mind to.