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Extraordinary Person Who Has Struggled to Do Ordinary Things

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Deborah Clarke

Extraordinary Person Who Has Struggled to do Ordinary Things ~A Story of Inspiration, Strength, Conquering and Support of Others

It was a snowy Monday morning, I was working at my desk, anticipating a typical day at the office, when this email arrived in my inbox. 

As the owner of a digital marketing agency and someone who has spent most of her career in marketing and business development, it typically takes a lot to impress me … especially coming into my email inbox.

But this story is about a young man who is anything but typical and a forward-thinking mental health organization led by young people, for young people … and a lesson for all of us in business, 

Email is not dead!

Mike Shoreman had caught my attention.  He succinctly shared his story, and provided all of the supporting documents (and name dropping) to help the reader quickly access that it was not a scam (or spam) email. 

Not only does Mike have an amazing story (I will get to it below), he is raising funds for a commendable mental health organization.  Canada’s #1 Youth Mental Health Organization he claims in his letter.  (Jack.org | Empowering Canada’s Young Leaders to Revolutionize Mental Health in Every Province and Territory

I have studied email marketing for several years, this package in an email impressed me.  It provided everything needed to help me make the decision quickly that I wanted to be a corporate sponsor for this young man and his amazing quest to paddle board across all 5 Great Lakes this summer of 2022. 

Who is this Paddleboarder?

Meet Mike Shoreman.

Mike Shoreman is a Toronto-born career paddleboarder based in Whitby, Ontario.

In 2018 Mike lost his paddle boarding business, his independence, and his identity when he developed a sudden neurological condition called Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Overnight the nerves shattered in his face and he lost his mobility. Spending the next year retraining his brain to walk again he was told he would never paddleboard again.

As a result of this debilitating condition and subsequent disabilities, Mike experienced loss, sadness, and grief pushing him into a mental health crisis. After spending time in a mental health treatment facility processing and coming to terms with his new life he began the road to mental and physical recovery.

One month after he was told he would never paddleboard again and weeks after he stopped using a cane, Mike got on a board against the odds. Lasting three minutes sitting down with friends close by his side that day, he then tried for five minutes a week later and then seven minutes a week after that which turned into him standing up for a few short minutes and now two years later here we are here.

Guess he proved them wrong!

To say Mike is an inspiration is an understatement.  To have people like Mike as a mental health advocate, is priceless.  He’s a competitive young man with business sense and determination, someone who has not only changed his life, he’s giving back as a mentor, a role model, an inspirational speaker and a motivator  … all wrapped up in one . . . advocating and helping so many people.

Jack.org is an equally fascinating Canadian mental health awareness organization for youth, led by youth.

  • they have youth-led Jack Chapters in secondary schools, colleges and universities across Canada (join one, or start one in your school or community centre!)
  • they have Jack Summit Events, in-person and online Jack Talks
  • they have a FREE digital resource called Be There that teaches you how to be there for someone that may be struggling with their mental health. They also recently launched a free mental health course, the Be There Certificate
  • they have some cool Merch!

You can support Mike Shoreman’s Great Lakes Crossing too!  Individual and Corporate Donations Accepted!


Interestingly, Mike has chosen chosen the town of Kincardine as the landing place for his 2nd great lakes crossing (Lake Huron).  We will be his 2nd Canadian arrival city.  He had no idea bagpipes are tradition for bringing in boats.

He’s hoping for a large crowd and the media to descend on Kincardine since it will be only the 2nd crossing and a significantly long one across Lake Huron.

The Crossing of Lake Huron will happen on the best weather day between June 11th and 18th and will take Mike an estimated 36 consecutive hours.

Watch for more in the news as we get closer to May and June when Mike starts out on his quest to conquer crossing the 5 Great Lakes this Summer of 2022.   Consider marking your calendar and watching for him (his team and the media) in Kincardine the week of June 9 – 18 … let’s give him a warm Kincardine, Bruce County welcome.

Continued success Mike in your training.  

From a Proud Corporate Sponsor in Kincardine, ON – 519Web, PinPoint Local and someone who started to paddle board at the age of 60 … you aren’t the only unbalanced paddleboarder.  I will continue to practice too, not with as lofty ambitions as you, to conquer the Great Lakes, but to get out on a regular basis paddling on every calm Lake Huron day.  Paddling with my kids, grandkids and neighbours, is my dream come true.

Deborah Clarke.

Follow Mike on Instagram @theunbalancedpaddleboarder

Follow Jack.org on Instagram  @Jackdotorg 

Follow 519Web on Instagram @519web

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Picture of Deborah Clarke

Deborah Clarke

Deborah has spent her entire career managing change. She was either growing a business from nothing or managing change within larger organizations to make a major shift in a new direction. As a small business leader, with a strong foundation of knowledge and experience in marketing, business development and accounting, Deborah Clarke brings 30+ years of hands-on experience to 519web, a full service digital marketing agency located in Kincardine, Ontario.

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