.jpg photo of Shield The Children Founder

A Knight’s Shield

Retired biomedical engineer bikes across country to battle Child Abuse

Headlines illustrate the Tri-State area’s struggle with child abuse and neglect:

“Hedgesville woman placed on probation in scalding death of her child.”

“Hagerstown man sentenced to 20 years in birthday cake beating death.”

Larry Heyn said he couldn’t stand along the sidelines and say nothing when children are abused.

The retired biomedical engineer is riding his bike across the country to bring attention to child abuse.  Heyn estimated that he talks to about 15 people a day about the problem and refers them to his website at shieldthechildren.com to learn more.

The 67-year-old Minneapolis man departed Mission Bay in San Diego on April 7 and anticipates reaching Washington, D.C., this week.  Heyn neared the Tri-State area biking on the Great Allegheny Passage, then getting on the C&O Canal.

Heyn left the Paw Paw, W.Va., area Monday morning and made his way through Hancock before reaching the Cushwa Basin in Williamsport Monday afternoon.

While Heyn rides, his wife Debi drives a used Winnebago that Heyn refers to as his “sag wagon”.

Debi takes care of the laundry, cooking and making reservations at campgrounds. Larry helps people understand all of the different types of child abuse, whether it’s forced labor or a mother abusing alcohol while she’s pregnant.

Heyn said its troubling the way children are treated, such as the frustrated mother who screams at her child in the grocery store and says she wishes the youngster were never born.

“A lot of this abuse that goes on doesn’t have to go on,” Heyn said.

Heyn and his wife were planning to stay at an area campground Monday night.