On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the only blind person to have reached the summit of Mt. Everest. Erik’s, who was diagnosed with retinoschisis at a young age, lost his sight by the age of thirteen. Despite the hardship and the struggle that it brought him, he is living proof of the fullness of life one can have regardless of sight.
By changing his focus from his disability to his strengths, Erik began rock climbing at a young age. He used his hands and feet to feel for holds, learning to depend on other senses and make them his tools. This motivation led him to an accomplishment most with their sight intact may not be able to achieve. In 2008, Erik succeeded in climbing Carstensz Pyramid on the island of Papua New Guinea. At the completion of this height, he scored the Seven Summits, standing on the highest point of every continent. Erik Weihenmayer was able to conclude a thirteen-year journey that began in 1995 and led him to become one of only 150 other mountaineers to have accomplished that feat.
It is important to acknowledge and spread awareness of the need for a cure for degenerative eye disease. However, it is also important to recognize that there are dreams, goals and aspirations to be achieved as well – and that by no means do they have to wait for a cure to be realized. Erik Weihenmayer is a distinct example of someone who did not let anything hold him back: “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.”
Blindness Awareness Month
The Little Rock Foundation, also a non-profit organization like ourselves, initiated a bill into law that establishes October as “Blindness Awareness Month.” By creating a month dedicated to allowing people to understand the realities of living without sight, we can help those who are living with degenerative retinal disease. Working together with organizations, such as the Little Rock Foundation, we are able to expand the horizons of people and build a better world for the blind and the visually impaired.
Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation was established to seek a cure for CRB1 degenerative retinal disease, a rare eye disease. Mutations from this retinal eye disease can cause retinitis pigmentosa (RP), Lebers congenital amaurosis (LCA), or cone-rod dystrophy, which ultimately leads to blindness or visual impairment. Our mission statement is to fund a cure for this genetic disease to stop the deterioration of all of our children’s sight. As soon as possible, we want to find the cure so that we can restore all CRB1 vision. Help us out by donating or spreading the word today!