Murray the deaf musician on a mission around the country
IF MURRAY Mandel didn't tell you he was born with profound hearing loss you would never guess.
The retired microbiologist knows the importance of hearing - he is also a musician.
Mr Mandel said his life didn't start off easy. After a stressful delivery, he was placed in a oxygen tent.
"I have profound hearing loss in both ears - 93% in the left and 84% in the right - because of the imbalance of oxygen tent I was put in for about 20 minutes after delivery,” he said.
He started off in deaf classes until his teacher and parents took a "gamble” and sent him to mainstream education.
He then studied medical science at university.
Now the 64-year-old is on a mission to raise money and awareness for Lifeline.
Mr Mandel wants people to realise there is help out there for everyone, no matter the need.
The Sydney man is touring the country over a three-year period, which started in March this year with plans to visit more than 150 destinations.
He started to study classical guitar in 2010 playing at private functions and fundraising events.
"I love it best when young people come up to me and say I am awesome. They make me feel like I'm a rock star.”
Mr Mendel will have his guitar set up at Stockland Kensington today, tomorrow and Saturday, from 10am-2pm.
He said during his east coast travels, people had shared their stories of struggle with him.
"I hear all sorts of stories from different people who need help. I plead with them to phone Lifeline.
"And that's why I am doing this.”
In the seven months Mr Mandel has been travelling he has raised $12,300.
He said it was his passion and, as a retiree who was living on his super, there wasn't anything he would rather be doing.
"If you are experiencing deep personal crises such as abuse, trauma, violence, bullying, mental illness, drug, alcohol or gambling addiction, stress from family or work, and that includes suicidal thoughts and attempts, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.”