As a child growing up with sight, Lex did anything that a typical child would do. He played video games, rode bicycles and played sports with friends. One particular evening while Lex was cleaning up for bed, he began noticing that his sight was blurred. Water did not help clear his eyes. The next day, a doctor’s examination revealed that he was suffering from a retina detachment. The issue was fixed and he could see clearly again for the next three weeks.
The third week passed and his retina had detached again, so he had another operation. Lex’s sight had been cleared up once more. Unfortunately, this was the pattern for the remainder of the year and after his thirteenth eye operation, doctors said there was nothing they could do to save his sight. Over the next few months, he saw the world vanish before his eyes.
It was difficult in the beginning, but Lex’s mom promised him that he would be able to do amazing things, he would just have to do them in a different way. He learned to read braille so he could get through school and he learned to travel in public independently. His confidence grew immensely.
While in high school, Lex was introduced to Paralympic sport by one of his teachers. His teacher recognized that he might be a good athlete through his results in a state-wide physical fitness test. His teacher decided to take Lex to a sports camp specifically for individuals who are visually impaired. That is where he learned about Paralympic sport.
When he left the camp, Lex knew he wanted to compete in the Paralympic Games one day. Lex returned home and joined his high school track and field team. From that point, his Paralympic dream of winning gold began.
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Photo by Joe Kusumoto