He had a rare eye disease since birth. When he was four years old, doctors said the disease was incurable. When he was 13 years old, the eyesight went away completely. Recovering from this shock, the mother died. He knew that now he would never see this beautiful world. But he did not let his blindness become a weakness. Of course, the road was very difficult, but he did not lose. He was a wrestling champion during school days. He was very fond of playing basketball. But his dreams were also getting blurred with weakening eyes. Then he started reading with blind children. After finishing school, went to college. As soon as he came out of college, life was exposed to the merciless reality. He came to know that there is no place for a blind young man in the world of perceived ordinary people. Then one day he decided to climb the world’s highest mountain peak and finally became the first blind person to climb Everest. Today, he is a famous writer and also a great orator. His name is Erik Weihenmayer.
Born in the US city of New Jersey, life meant misery for Erik Weihenmayer from the beginning. When he was two-three years old, the parents felt that there was some problem in his eyes. At times in childhood, he had difficulty seeing or catching things. Initially, the doctors could not understand much, but when he was four years old, he came to know that he is suffering from the incurable eye disease of Jejunal retinoids. The parents took him to the big doctors. Nobody’s treatment did not work. The doctors gave a clear answer. Eric’s eyesight diminished over time. Eric did not have a childhood like normal children. The parents tried to protect them from dust and sunlight. So there was very little chance to play. The parents knew that one day Eric would lose his eyesight completely, but there was hope in his mind that a miracle might happen. But it did not happen.
During school days Eric started playing wrestling and became the champion. He was very fond of basketball, but often the ball slipped out of his hand due to foggy lights. Sometimes the accompanying children would make fun of him, but he never felt bad. He was 13 years old at the time. One day he realized that he could not see anything. The blurred-looking things had also disappeared. He had lost the light. Do not know when the parents were suppressing this fear in the heart. They knew that one day it was going to happen. But he did not let the son disintegrate. Eric was trying to recover that his mother died. This was the second biggest shock for him. Eric said, now it’s all over, but the father explained that when one way is closed, many paths open automatically. They had now become both Eric’s mother and father. From home to the school campus, he lived with Eric, helping him at every step. Gradually Eric learned to live without light.
He was admitted to the school of blind children. During this, he was given training in racing, swimming, mountain climbing, and skiing along with studies. But he enjoyed the most in climbing mountains. Eric went to college after finishing school. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University. During the summer holidays, he decided to work part-time. It was a very difficult period indeed. Applied in many places, but no one wanted to hire a young man who is not visible. Eric applied to get the job of washing dishes in a hotel. The hotel management called him for an interview, but immediately dismissed him when he came to know that he could not see. Eric says, it felt like all the paths were closed. Nobody wanted to listen to me, nobody wanted to give me a chance. Wherever I go, my blindness would stand in front of me and my path would stop.
But Eric did not disappoint. He took special training in teaching and started teaching children with disabilities. He became a source of inspiration for children. Eric helps physically weak children, encouraging them. Now he had a desire to do something big and something new in his mind. During school days Eric took training in climbing mountains. He decided that he would climb Everest, the world’s highest peak. Most mount climbing experts in the US claimed that Eric would not be able to do so due to his blindness. Eric’s well-wishers also advised him not to take such a big risk. But Eric didn’t agree. He took special training and walked to the top of the mountain.
Eric begins his climb to Everest. As the journey progressed, icy winds and merciless weather intensified. Eric suffered the most eye trouble during the trip. Many times felt that the thorns in the eyes were piercing. But Eric did not stop and set a new world record on 25 May 2001. Eric became the world’s first blind person to climb Everest. Then in September 2002, he also set a record for climbing the seven highest mountain peaks of the seven continents of the world. America’s iconic magazine Time published a cover story on him. Eric has written several motivational books. His book Touch the Top of the World has become very famous.
Eric is also a great speaker. People are eager to listen to his motivational speeches. Eric has no complaints about life. He says, if I had light in my eyes, my life would surely have been more comfortable, but perhaps then I would not have the satisfaction that I feel today.