Help Vicky be strong, the world is not fair
Through Vickys Eyes is the journey to help Vicky see the world before her eyesight goes but is also our journey to come to terms (accept is still a big word😊) with her loosing her sight. Meeting blind people with successful, fulfilling lives is a great way for us to understand that she can (WILL) have a successful and fulfilling life despite her condition.
Few days ago I had the opportunity to meet with Amar. Amar is blind from exactly the same genetic condition of Vicky (he is one of the only 3 people we met so far in UK!!!). He lost most of his usable sight in his late teens. His story is amazing. Qualified accountant, he then went on and founded TravelEyes, an award winning travel agency specialized in travels for blind and sighted people. Among other things, Amar is an inspirational speaker and he featured in Radio and TV shows. TravelEyes idea is simple, yet so innovative and powerful. Getting sighted people and partially sighted people travelling together so that the sighted can help the blind ones. (Picture: myself, Amar and Caroll who also works for TravelEyes)
Not seeing the world and not being able to travel independently is probably one of the things that scare me the most about Vicky’s future. But people like Amar are showing us that you can be blind and still travel the world 😉 But even more than that, he is showing us that blind people can help sighted people in unexpected ways. Sighted people come back from a TravelEyes holiday and they see the world in a completely different way. The experience helps them acquire new skills and appreciate more the world around them.
We talked for hours about his story and Vicky’s story. We had many ideas to work together. Amar is going to join our Patient Day in September. Together we are actually thinking to organize a holiday challenge to raise important funds to support our research plans.
As I meet with blind people, I got into the habit of asking them what should I do as a parent to raise a sight impaired child. And so I also asked Amar: “what is the best thing your parents have done to help you? What should I do? What tips do you have for me?”
“Help Vicky be strong. The world is not fair” was his answer. Teaching her to be independent and fighting for herself is the most important thing. She will have to stood up against difficulties. People will tell her she will not be able to do things but she will need to find the strength to keep going.
Amar does not hide behind the fact that “living with blindness is sometimes difficult” but he thinks that “blindness led me to become who I am now”. Without blindness “I would probably still will be working in an office”, while now “I can travel the world”. He feels that life for “normal” people is far more competitive. as a blind person you do “normal” things and “people think that is exceptional”. Well, Amar despite what you think of yourself 😉 I think that what you are doing is rather exceptional.
Thanks Amar for your support to Through Vicky’s Eyes and most of all, to help us see the world a little differently.
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Follow Amar on Twitter @theamarlatif