You may wonder who Eric Weinhenmayer is, if you have ever seen an advertisement by the Foundation for a Better Life, you would know he is an athlete, a motivational speaker author, and a teacher. He founded the nonprofit No Barriers. His accomplishments include:
• Reaching the summit of Mount Everest on May 25, 2001.
• In 2008 he climbed the Carstensz pyramid island of Papaya New Guinea.
• Completing the Seven Summits -the highest point on each continent in 2002.
• Denali in 1995
• Kayaking, the Grand Canyon
Achieving all these accomplishments, while being blind. Weinhenmayer has made it his goal in life to empower those who are marginalized and pushed to the sidelines to find purpose and fulfilment in their lives-not just those who are blind, but all those who could easily let obstacles life throws at them get in the way. Turning adversity into opportunity.
Retinoschisis began to rob him of his sight at the age of 14. Retinoschisis is a condition that happens when the retina divides into two or more layers. Schisis means a split or cleft. It affects the light-sensing layer of the retina and the layer of cells that transmit signals to the brain through the optic nerve. A genetic mutation is found to be one of the causes of the form of retinoschisis affecting juveniles. The X-linked factor is related to maternal genes.
Erik’s triumphs show that with some perseverance great things can happen.