An inspiration to us all

Chris from South Tyneside is 49, a type 1 diabetic and registered blind. He lost his sight in 2008 through diabetic retinopathy. Last year his 24 year marriage ended. Chris was very depressed, but despite of all his problems, he has managed to hold on to his job supporting children with sensory disabilities

Chris was an excellent sportsman before all of his problems. He is now involved with Blind Sailing UK and has proved to be a talented part of th...eir crew. In the summer Chris was selected to compete as part of the UK team in the World Blind Sailing Championships in Chicago this September. Our funding enabled Chris to follow his dream and represent team GB. The Championships were a huge success and team GB won the World Cup, while Chris personally was awarded a silver medal for coming second in his category.

Since his victory in Chicago, Chris has become a local celebrity and his story has been all over the local press. His silver medal goes everywhere with him, and he has been a true inspiration to the local visually impaired community and a role model to the sensory impaired student who he supports in South Tyneside. The whole experience has increased confidence and self-esteem. He has excelled in his favourite sport and has been recognised for his expertise and skill on a worldwide stage. He has returned as a new man and has many new friends from throughout the world who share his passion for sailing and overcoming the barriers that visual impairment can cause.