Josh Crary has Chorodoremia, a disease that robbed him of his sight at an early age. That will not stop him, however, from running in his second Boston Marathon.
CBS Boston has more on the story of a man who was dealt a tremendous blow at the age of 14, when he learned the degenerative condition would take his sight.
According to Crary, he still has some vision, but it's severely limited. "I’m able to see some objects move around me as long as they’re in my side vision. All I can really perceive is a large mass of blurry colors with no depth perception."
Upon entering grad school at Boston College, he became enthralled with the thought of running the Boston Marathon. He began working hard, utilizing friends as guides and putting in a great deal of treadmill work.
When he went back home to New Hampshire, he found support from his father, whom he described as someone who was once a very active athlete and runner.
His father would count laps as he trained at a local track and lend coaching tips on his form. His dad was there in 2011 when Crary had his first attempt in Boston. Unfortunately, he didn't finish, but was greeted by a proud father and sister whom cheered from the crowd.
I met them on the other side of the finish line in the Red Cross tent. I didn’t cross the finish line, but we did reunite at the finish line,” he said.
It didn’t matter Josh wasn’t able to beat the heat and finish the race, his family was still proud of his accomplishment.
“I don’t think it really mattered if I had only made it three miles or 17.3 – like I did – or the whole 26.2; I had already won in his eyes and my family’s eyes.
The tale takes a sad turn as his father would be diagnosed with cancer two days later. He was hardly given enough time to deal with such an enormous bombshell as his mother passed a month later and his father two months after that.
Crary kept running.
Not letting the awful side of life get in the way of all the truly remarkable aspects, the blind runner is pushing himself to finish this particular marathon, despite some nagging injuries.
His hope is that his story will help others move forward during some truly humbling times, and all while raising awareness and money to fight cancer.
You can read more about his story and learn about his charity at The Boston Blind Runner.
Crary sums it all up quite beautifully to CBS Boston.
It’s almost more than trying to inspire people; to focus on inviting people not to doubt themselves and reach out to other folks who will support them,” he said. “I’m pushing myself to try new things all the time, and I hope that other folks that have gone blind or lost a parent or have cancer, whatever it may be, keep going for those greater, better things in life as well.
Keep running, in whatever form you might take that sentiment. Life presents great obstacles to all of us, but you will find great beauty if you keep traversing on down the road.
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