I started out in life as a regular guy, working in auto body repair at BMW, until one day, completely out of the blue, a rare virus (Toxoplasmosis) reared its ugly head and caused me to lose my sight in a matter of weeks.
As you can imagine, this was completely life altering and a massive change to come to terms with. In many respects, dealing with becoming blind was like starting anew, having to learn and teach myself how to do the basics all over again, as well as dealing with the onslaught of anxiety, hallucinations and muscle spasms that often accompany the loss of sight.
Nevertheless, I refused to give up and, after four years I decided to take up woodturning so that I could make myself a vampire stake – I’m a huge horror film fan!
While every day is still a challenge, these challenges are what fuel my mission – to exceed the expectations of what others perceive disabled people are able to accomplish, and to prove to myself and the world that having a disability isn’t the end, it’s just a new beginning.
Today, I travel around the country giving public wood turning demonstrations, speaking about my experiences and I share my story on my YouTube channel in an effort to inspire, motivate and activate people no matter what their circumstances, to achieve their full potential.
My message is simple – whenever you feel like you want to give up, just keep on turning.
What the mind can perceive, the body will achieve.
We met through our mutual involvement with Speed of Sight, a charity close to our hearts which provides driving experiences for people with disabilities. We are both proud to be Ambassadors and Trustees for the charity.