Blind Reading Teacher Loves to Help Children Overcome Their Obstacles


Jeff Balek loves to be around kids who overcome their obstacles.

Balek, who’s blind, volunteers to help second and third-grade children learn to read at the YMCA’s Readers Program in Charlotte, North Carolina. By following along in Braille, he makes sure the children are learning and helps them if they get stuck on any words.

“What I enjoy most about volunteering at the Y is I love seeing the kids progress,” Balek says in the YMCA’s video below. “I get inspired because I love seeing them overcome their obstacles.”

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Blind Football Player’s Big News Proves ‘There’s Nothing That You Can’t Accomplish’


Long snapping instructor Chris Rubio told The Boston Globe that Aaron Golub was “average at best” when he started playing football at Newton South High in Newton, Mass.

But the kid is just so … determined,” Rubio told the paper. “You tell him what to do, and consider it done.”

Golub, 17, is legally blind, but he’s one of the top high school long snappers in New England. Now, Tulane University has offered him a walk-on spot to play football for their Division 1 program, CBS Boston reported.

“If you set your mind to it, then you can do it,” Golub tells the station in the video below. “There’s nothing that you can’t accomplish if you really want to do it.”

Watch his full story:


This Blind Runner's Outlook on Life Is Nothing Short of Beautiful

“Don’t ever say you can’t do it, people, because you can do it,” Jerry Gatton tells Fox 5 in the video below.  “You try to do it. Don’t say, ‘I can’t do it.’ Say, ‘I can do it.’”

Gatton is a blind runner who loves to compete at Special Olympics Maryland with the help of his coach and friend, Dale Becker, who guides him along the track. Gatton, who’s 100 percent visually impaired, also competes in shot-put and standing long jump events.

“Every year he does it he makes everyone so emotional,” Becker told “To see what someone with his disabilities does is remarkable.”

But what sticks out the most is Gatton’s incredible outlook on staying positive.

“If something don’t go right, I get down sometimes,” Gattons told Fox 5. “Then I’m like, ‘Wait a minute. What’s the use of me getting down? Then I’ll start singing. That’s what I do to make my day better.”

Watch his full story below:



He's a Blind Runner. He Has an Unbelievable Goal. He Needs Your Help.


David Kuhn knew he couldn’t drive.

He was too emotional, too overwhelmed. He didn’t want to put others at risk by putting his car in gear. So he sat for hours, mulling over the news an optometrist had just given him: His retinas had stretched after an accident months earlier, when a drunk driver crashed into his truck. The damage to his eyes was irreversible. He was going to progressively go blind.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Kuhn recalls nearly 33 years later. “I was stale.”

Night came. Kuhn watched as patients, doctors and nurses left the building and drove off. His car was the only one left in the parking lot when he decided that his life was just like the games of poker he’d played with his brother and friends.

“You’ve been dealt good hands, and you’ve been dealt bad hands. You’ve won with both, and you’ve lost with both,” he thought to himself. “You’ll just have to play this hand the best you can.”

Today, Kuhn, now 61, is almost completely blind. But he doesn’t spend hours mourning his lost eyesight anymore. He spends hours — a lot of hours — running in DeKalb, Ill., where he lives. He has to. Because he’s training to make an 11,000-mile or more run around the perimeter of the U.S., to raise money for his 11-year-old granddaughter, Kylie, who has cystic fibrosis.

“I’ve been thinking about this run for about two years,” Kuhn says. “When Kylie’s condition worsened, I thought, ‘This is it. It’s time to finally do it.’”

david and grandson

In a few weeks, Kuhn plans to start the trek in Seattle, then cross Washington State and continue on — he hasn’t worked out everything yet. His goal is to hit each “corner” of the country — Bangor, Maine, Jacksonville, Fla., San Diego, and back to Seattle. Ideally, as his story gets out, he’ll find places to stay along the way — fellow runners or supporters to offer him a place to stay. The best option would be to find a person or group on route who has a caravan. Then, of course, he needs to find more running guides — people who will run with him each day for stretches of the trip, directing him with a rope that he loops around his left thumb.

“Tethered running is not as difficult or weird as it sounds,” Kuhn says. “My 5-year-old grandson was one of my first guides.”

When he signs up for a run — he just completed the 2014 Boston Marathon — Kuhn’s always surprised by how many people offer to guide him.

“I guess I inspire people, but I don’t think I’m inspiring,” Kuhn says. “I’m the one that’s inspired by my guides. It’s difficult enough to run a race like that alone, but to be thinking about me while pushing through is incredible.”

As he prepares for his round-the-country run, the grandfather of four often thinks about how his blindness has actually become a blessing.

“I see the best side of humanity all the time, people who are there for people with disabilities, who support someone who’s just trying to improve themselves or face a challenge,” Kuhn says.

He misses his eyesight, of course. But if an optometrist told him tomorrow that a new technology or surgery could make him see again, Kuhn would say, “Let’s hold off for a little.” He has a few more cards he’d like to blindly play.

“There are still some things I want to experience without my sight. I want to do this run. I want to complete an Ironman,” he says. “Then, after those things, maybe we could talk about it.”

You can follow Kuhn’s journey on FacebookTwitter and his personal blog.

You can also make a donation to directly finance Kuhn’s run or to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

h/t Runners World

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Kathryn Driscoll's Brilliant Response To Advertisers Leaving Out Kids With Disabilities


Katie Driscoll was looking at an ad for actress Tory Spelling‘s children’s clothing line, “Little Maven,” when she first had the idea.

If Driscoll, a fan of Spelling, recreated the ad but included kids with disabilities – her daughter, Grace, who has Down syndrome, being one of them – the image probably wouldn’t look that different. In fact, it wouldn’t look different at all. But its message would speak volumes.

“I wanted people to see the kids in the ad, ones with disabilities and ones without, and realize that we’re all people,” Driscoll told The Mighty. “We look the same when we’re together even though each person is unique.”


Little Maven took notice – the brand featured a 2013 holiday lookbook that included differently-abled children. Driscoll’s daughter was one of the models.

It was the first major victory in Driscoll’s effort to show the world that differences don’t make a person any less beautiful or capable. Since Grace’s birth, this has been her goal. Through her blog, “5 Boys + 1 Girl Photography,”  Driscoll has shared photographs of her kids and other people’s kids, all with different capabilities. Within that, she’s started a campaign called “Changing the Face of Beauty,” in hopes of convincing companies to include differently-abled children and young adults in ad campaigns.

While Driscoll works with more companies to jump on board – she can’t disclose which ones she’s currently talking with – she’s always upfront about her mission.

“We’re all people,” she repeats to The Mighty. “And at the end of the day acceptance can’t happen until society sees our loved ones as capable.”

Visit Driscoll’s blog to see her complete series, and scroll down to see a few of her perfectly-capable models.












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A Complete Stranger's Incredible Act of Kindness May Dramatically Change This Little Girl's Life


Christy Harding says she’s not sure why she stopped scrolling when she saw 2-year-old Arianna Moore’s picture on her Facebook timeline. But something compelled her to click and read about the little girl in Pine City, Minn., who needed a new kidney.

Arianna has a rare genetic kidney disorder, according to KARE11, which requires her to be on dialysis treatment every night for 10 to 12 hours. When no one in her family was a match for a kidney transplant, her parents made a Facebook page, “ALL4MOORE,” to raise awareness.

Harding, from Jacksonville, Fla., — 1,500 miles away from Arianna — saw that page.

“It said, ‘If you’re Type-O blood, you could be her hero,’ and I thought, I am type O blood,” Harding told First Coast News. She called the Minnesota children’s hospital where Arianna was being treated to see if she was a match. When she found out she was, she emailed Arianna’s mom, Ashley Booth, to let her know she’d be donating a kidney. Harding is heading to Minnesota on Monday, May 5. The transplant will take place two days later.

“It’s so amazing. We haven’t even met her yet,” Booth told ABC. “I cannot wait for next Monday. I don’t know if I’ll be able to let go of her once I hug her.”


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