While I was still learning elementary English, I was checking out braille books from the library, determined to learn in order to teach my blind grandfather later. For some reason I thought that he ought to read a normal book, instead of listening to books on tape. He tried his best to learn braille for a few days, most likely to please me, but I remember clear as day when he told me with a smile that he listens to books on tape because that’s simply how he was meant to read.
After my attempt at teaching him braille, the fact that he was completely blind never really crossed my mind. I figured all boys and girls had a grandpa who they had to lightly steer with the tug and pull of the elbow, or had to have someone whisper to him where his food was on the plate. But, despite his disability, he never let anything stop him. We took countless walks together, he seemed to do everything my grandma could, and he always seemed so happy listening to books on tape that I never thought that being blind was a disability, just something that made him different.
Not only was my grandpa a positive man, but he was also the most influential person to walk this earth, albeit with a white cane. Although I only had eleven short years with the man, when I think of my childhood, he’s the first person who enters my mind. Pretending to be the blind princess with my friends, playing hide and seek with him, or getting to stay up late to listen to the Red Sox play with him, he’s the one person in my life that I know has already shaped my past and will undoubtedly shape my future.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of my grandpa, but I’ve come to realize that keeping his memory to myself is a selfish act. This wonderful man may have passed, but his amazing legacy has the potential to live through all those he touched. Therefore, I’ve started a team in the Chicago VisionWalk in his name. The Legacy team has been formed to raise money and gather together to walk to find the cure to blindness in his honor. So please consider helping me in my quest to cure blindness! You can help restore sight to millions living in darkness by attending the VisionWalk with me, making a donation, or simply sharing the event with others! I am walking in support of someone very dear to my family and I, whatever your motivation please consider donating or joining the Legacy team in our efforts to continue his Legacy and bringing us closer to the cure!