Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Role Model: Its not just the dog.

Role models for every child are very important.  As a parent its one of our jobs to make sure our children has plenty of great role model in their life.  This task became a little challenging last year  as I came to terms over Abby being blind.  I wanted Abby to see possiblity not limits.  (I wrote about role models last year too.  She has many members of her family to look up to.  She has a friend  who is just a few years older than her who is also blind and has inspired her with her braille. She also meant some pretty great adults who also are blind.  There is one I really like to call out today.  His name is Randy Pierce and he lives in NH just like we do.  We got connected with Randy last year when we had a 'competing' team for the New Hampshire Association for the Blind  walk last year.

Abby and Randy meeting for the first time. 
Randy has really over come a lot in his life.  The bio on his non-profit's website is best for telling his story The "cliff notes" version is he started to lose his sight in his 20s to an unknown neurological disorder. He is now completely blind.  Almost 10 years ago his unknown condition put him in a wheelchair.  His story could have ended there.  Today Randy is out of that wheelchair and has done so much more. He was the first blind person to hike all 48 4000 footers (those are mountains by the way) in the state of NH in one season (just this last winter). Did year read that one season. The winter.  Its amazing to me every time I hear it.  He is currently half way through an 100 mile walk to celebrate the New Hampshire Association for the Blind 100th anniversary.  Last night Abby and I were given the opportunity to wish him well before he started his 100 mile trek (he will be officially finished on Saturday when the 3k Walk for Sight starts).

It was  important to Abby yesterday to get a chance to talk to Randy and wish him well before his walk.  She was very determined.   She always enjoys talking to Randy. Randy also has this amazing guide dog Quinn.  Quinn gets a lot of attention.  Calling him a scene stealer could be an understatement.  Abby last night wasn't about wishing Quinn well (though she does love Quinn)  it was more about wishing Randy well.  While Quinn was a huge ice breaker its so much more than about the dog now for her. I always appreciate the time Randy gives Abby, He has always given Abby time even when sometimes she can be a little annoying I am sure.   I don't know if Randy realizes the positive impression he gives her.   I know it a great motivator for Abby to see what Randy has been able to accomplish.

Many times society sees the blind as helpless Randy shows the world that's simply not true.

I encourage everyone to follow Randy's travels. He is a role model for the many kids he actively tries to talk to in schools. (Yes he talks to schools )   He is a role model for my daughter and a great role model for anyone else for that matter. Oh and Quinn is still pretty cool too.

Randy's organization 2020 Vision Quest
2020 Vision Quest facebook page

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A great link about braille

Want a great new link that goes over some of the basics of braille.  Great for parents and teachers of young children and those wanting to learn more about braille.

Check it out