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Erik Weihenmayer’s Next Big Challenge

Erik WeihenmayerA longtime friend of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Erik Weihenmayer is best-known as the blind guy who reached the top of Mount Everest. The first and only. But that was back in 2001. Since then, the 45-year-old, who lost his vision to retinoschisis in his teens, has embarked on a series of adventures—among them, scaling the Seven Summits, mountain-bike racing and starring in the reality show Expedition Impossible. He’s also written books and traveled the world as a motivational speaker. In fact, he spoke at FFB’s annual VISIONS conference in Minneapolis in 2012.

But Erik is always looking for the next challenge. And the latest, one for which he’s been training the past several years, is to be the first blind person to kayak the Grand Canyon. That’s 277 miles along the rough-and-tumble Colorado River, folks. You can learn more about Erik from an article published on our website two years ago. A just-published Men’s Journal piece, however, goes into detail about his training for the Grand Canyon expedition, which will take place in September.

While Erik is a big supporter of FFB’s mission to find treatments and cures for retinal diseases, he’s also co-founder of No Barriers USA, a non-profit helping those with disabilities live active lives. One of its mottos is, “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” We, at FFB, couldn’t agree more. And we wish Erik all the best as he gets ready to ride the rapids.

Pictured, above: Erik Weihenmayer

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