(NewsNation) — Professional paddleboarder Mike Shoreman was told he would never paddleboard again in 2018 following a diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, an ailment that can leave parts of the body paralyzed.
Shoreman says he soon after had a “mental breakdown.” He spent much of 2018 learning to walk again. By all accounts, it looked like his paddleboarding career was on the ropes.
But Shoreman persisted. Not only did he learn to walk again, he learned to paddleboard again. But his journey didn’t stop there. Shoreman is now miraculously about to finish the feat of paddling across all of the Great Lakes.
“I’m really excited. I was told I’d never paddleboard again when I developed my condition,” Shoreman said Thursday on NewsNation “Prime.” “I had a mental health breakdown and I wanted to do this to raise funds for mental health programs in schools for young people struggling.”
Shoreman said he is “a little bit anxious, tired, but excited” to complete the last leg of his journey across the Great Lakes, which will be a 20-21 hour trek across Lake Ontario.
Most of his paddling will be done sitting down, he said, because his condition impacts his balance.
“Being on unpaved surfaces is a challenge for me,” Shoreman said. “Being on sand or water. When I move my head from side to side, I get dizzy or disoriented. My vision is obstructed a little bit and my hearing is impacted.”
To help in his trip across the lakes, every 30 minutes he is given a shake filled with water, carbohydrates and a squirt of Kool-Aid by a team following him on a boat.