Friday, May 24, 2013
Man's Blindness Becomes Motivation For Self and Others
At just 29 years old and going through his first year at law school, Bobby McMullen's vision started to deteriorate.
When he was a kid, Bobby McMullen had a dream.
"I always wanted to be an attorney, from the time I was a small child,” McMullen said “I was driven by the idea that I could help a lot of people."
He never imagined what would happen next: Just 29 years old and going through his first year at law school, his vision started to deteriorate.
A month later, he was blind, calling his family and telling them the news no parent wants to hear.
"When your parents begin, when they cry, you know there's...it's crushing,” McMullen said, his voice heavy with emotion.
But rather than a roadblock, he said his blindness became his motivation.
"What it motivated me to do is try to go back to law school…do those things, be exceptional,” McMullen said.
Despite kidney failure, two subsequent double organ transplants and more broken bones than he could count, that’s exactly what he did.
McMullen went on to become a successful member of the U.S. Disabled Ski Team, and now spends his time as a competitive mountain bike racer and motivational speaker.
"I think there's just brilliant stories that outweigh the negative side of things,” said McMullen, who spent Saturday morning cruising the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail with members of the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
He traveled to Alaska to host a special screening of his documentary, “The Way Bobby Sees It,” and show center members that you don’t have to see to be exceptional
"There's people pushing the limits all over,” McMullen said. “Why can't we also enhance the physical side of it, the confidence-building side of it?”
More than a dozen ACBVI members rode the trails with McMullen Saturday, and many of them have never ridden a bike before.
It doesn’t matter: McMullen’s out to show they can.
"Why can't we do exceptional things?” He asked as the group finished gearing up and prepared to ride out Saturday morning. “Look at what athletes are doing in general, like ‘Oh my gosh I can't believe that guy did that, or that girl did that,’ why can't we give it a whirl?"