Keen to do something different for her 10-year wedding anniversary away from the usual ‘wine and dine’ St Albans mother Christina Smith will cycle from London to Paris alongside her husband in honour of their partially deaf daughter, Millie.
"Me and my husband have been together for 20 years and have been married 10 years and we have been out for dinner a lot," Mrs Smith, of Batchwood View, laughed as she explained how she talked her husband, Michael, round to the challenge of completing a four-day city cycle in June.
She explained: "Michael isn’t a keen cyclist, more of a runner, so his first reaction was ‘absolutely not’ when I asked him.
"But when I explained that I wanted to do it to raise money for The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) he changed his mind straight away.
"A lot of the time, as parents, you are often talking about the negative things when having a child, who is deaf. For example what they can and can’t do. But this is about doing something positive with our whole family and getting everyone involved.
"We want to highlight that deafness isn't a terrible thing and that actually, having your hearing loss confirmed means that you can start doing things.
"There are so many good things that can be done to help children with hearing loss achieve their full potential. The NDCS has been a source of positivity - that having a deaf child is not an insurmountable problem."
Five-year-old Millie, who attends Garden Fields JMI School, was diagnosed as being moderately deaf at the age of three and a half.
Since then the couple, who also have 7-year-old son, Adam and Sadie, 1, have been supported by NDCS, a charity dedicated to supporting deaf people.
Mrs Smith, 38, said: "Millie is doing absolutely great. She attends a mainstream school, wears a hearing aid everyday and since being diagnosed, we as a family have received a lot more extra support.
"With normal hearing, you don’t have a clue what to expect when you are deaf. NDCS have been really helpful and supportive in providing us with advice and information about accessing support.
"Most recently they helped us understand how to deal with Millie’s disturbed sleep patterns, which has been very helpful."
Mr and Mrs Smith will begin training next month and both will ride the 213 mile cycle for seven to eight hours everyday for four days.
"We are looking forward to it. The kids are really excited about it and have really enjoyed fundraising.
"Being deaf is not a disaster and not the end of the world. Because you are deaf, it doesn’t mean you have to sit in the corner and it is perfectly accepted. It is nice for Millie to see we are doing something positive and talking about the things we can do.
"We are set to finish the cycle the day before Tour de France, which should be pretty special- hopefully they don’t catch us up." Mrs Smith laughed.
Adam is set to organise a fundraising afternoon of sport at his school and Millie a tea party. The family have also organised a charity table top sale, which will take place on Sunday, May 4 from 2pm to 4pm in the Scout Hut, Waverley Road.