I am 24-year-old who suffers retinitis pigmentosa which is a retinal degenerative disease. This disease manifests itself as a slow loss of your peripheral vision which, over time, results in complete blindness.
When I was younger, I was a standout athlete in baseball. However, one day at practice, I noticed that I couldn’t see the ball come off the bat anymore.
I consulted my doctor and shortly after, I was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. At twelve years old, understanding the consequences of my diagnosis was difficult. I didn’t even understand that I was going to lose my vision.
As I grew up, I was left out of many activities because of my visual impairment. However, I did not view this as a negative, but rather as an opportunity to grow as a person. I used this experience to attempt to understand the reasons that visually impaired people face these issues in athletics, and more broadly, in society. The barriers that I’ve encountered as a visually impaired athlete have driven me to take action to help others facing the same difficulty and stigmas