Tag: blind

Believe It! Achieve it!

believe it“Believe it and you will achieve it,” says one parent. “Don’t try because you may fail,” says another. Still another says, “You can’t do that.” And another says, “You are different and you won’t be able to succeed.” Yet another says, “You have a handicap but you can accomplish anything if you believe you can!”

What kind of parent are you? Time for some soul searching here!

Are you the kind of parent who compliments your child for anything and everything? If you are, you are not helping your child because he or she doesn’t believe you or your false compliments.

Maybe you are the kind of parent who tells your child that he or she “can’t” when the child tries? If you are that kind of parent, your child will assume that he or she shouldn’t be confident.

Are you the kind of parent who is honest with your child? Because you believe in your child’s abilities and you help your child learn how to accomplish goals through work, perseverance and discipline. An example of this kind of parenting is Stash Serafin’s mother and how she helped her blind child succeed.

Believe It! Achieve it!

“In the middle of the vortex is the eye of the storm. There’s a stillness and a quiet in there. The eye of the storm is the real metaphor of my life,” he said. “If you can’t see, you might as well do the things your mom taught you in the little circle.”

The little circle has been Serafin’s safe haven since his childhood on a four-acre farm in Blue Bell.

“It all started with a little circle my mom would do on the front lawn,” he said. “She would put acorns in her pockets. She’d say, ‘Catch me if you can,’ and start running. I would hear the acorns rattle and I would chase her. She’d start with a small circle around me, then make it bigger and bigger. Eventually, her circle became the whole front lawn.

“I must have incorporated that when I started skating,” he said. “I would work in a little tiny area and never leave that area until I felt comfortable about where I was.”

Looking back over a half-century to his childhood, he still draws strength from it to navigate through his blindness.

“The thing my family did was, they just assumed I was going to be a regular kid, so they . . . let me do whatever I could do,” he said. “I learned to climb trees. I don’t know how. I just did.

Believe it! Achieve it!

My parents were always supportive about my skating though they felt uncomfortable that I was the only blind skater in the world with little support from any organizations. They were always proud of me. I passed figure tests, dance, and free style tests — All with flying colors and high marks. ”

In a 2007 memoir, A Skating Life: My Story, the Olympian Dorothy Hamill said she was “moved to tears by Stash’s courageous performance” at a show in Wilmington in the 1970s.

“He didn’t let his blindness stop him from expressing his passion on the ice,” Hamill wrote, adding that Serafin stirred her to teach ice skating to children from the Los Angeles School for the Blind.

Competitively, Serafin won an artistic solo gold medal for his figure skating routine at the 2014 Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, interpreting his own musical composition, “I Don’t See You But I Sense You.”

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Blind Gymnast – Lola Walters


blind gymnastAs parents, we want our children to be happy and safe and we hope that they will succeed in life. Where do we draw the line between keeping them safe and allowing them to blossom?

What would you say if your child were legally blind and wanted to do gymnastics?

That is what the parents of Lola Walters had to decide. Lola is a USA Gymnastics Level 6 gymnast which means that she does handspring vaults, jumps to the high bar and “fly aways” on bars, back walkovers and leaps on beam and she is legally blind. She has a condition called nystagmus that limits her vision, causes her eyes to flutter, allows no depth perception, and often causes double vision.

Usually athletes can see what is in front of them… whether it is a vault or a bar or an opponent. In Lola’s case, she has not idea what is in front of her until she is about five feet away from it because she is legally blind. You can see this blind gymnast in action on Youtube.

Lola’s mom said, “She can see. It’s just that what is in front of her constantly moves and she can not judge distances or focus.”

Lola’s coach is quoted as saying, “She works twice as hard as everybody else and I’ve seen her fall harder than anybody, and she’ll get up and go again, every single time.”

Blind Gymnast

This amazing young woman sees her disability in a very different way from the way most of us would see it. She said, “Most people I compete with don’t know I am any different from them, and as far as I’m concerned it can stay that way. If they don’t know, they don’t need to score me differently.”

Lola has been a gymnast since she was three years old. It wasn’t until after Lola was enrolled in gymnastics that her mother understood just how
bad her vision was. By that time, she was already a good gymnast.

“I don’t know what it would be like to do gymnastics with perfect vision,” “so really, I don’t see a difference.”Had her mother held her back in fear of her getting hurt, Lola would not be where she is today. We already know about out Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas. Gabby met Lola and said, “This is such an amazing moment for me. I am star struck. Lola, you are truly incredible. This truly shows what a mind can do. If you love something and have a passion for something, you won’t let anything stop you. You are amazing.”

So parents, back to my original question, Where do we draw the line between keeping them safe and allowing them to blossom?

Lola Walters is our newest hero.

Our Hero: Patrick Henry Hughes

At times, we meet people who become our heroes. We don’t necessarily meet in person. We meet via the internet or via the news or through mutual friends. We become friends because we share a belief. Our hero today is Patrick Henry Hughes and I am certain that we share the belief that, If you believe it, you can achieve it!


Patrick was born without eyes and without the ability to straighten his arms and legs. In addition, he has had two steel rods attached to his spine because of scoliosis.  In spite of all of his physical issues, Patrick has overcome the odds with the support of a wonderful family.

He has so much talent, courage, love and desire that his example is a gift to all who are lucky enough to have come in contact with him.  As difficult as it is to believe, Patrick began to play the piano at nine months of age and also sings and plays the piano. Patrick has excelled as a musician, student, performer and public speaker.

If any of you have a disability or if you have a child or a loved one who has a disability, please don’t enable any negative thinking about your or their abilities. Please show your children that you believe in them and all that they can do.

The following quote is from Patrick’s website:

He (Patrick) even participated in the University of Louisville Marching Band for five seasons with help from his father, Patrick John Hughes, who tirelessly maneuvered his wheel chair through the formations with the other 220+ members of the Cardinal Marching Band. Patrick is usually a straight ‘A’ student, having received only 3 ‘B’s’ during his entire primary/secondary educational experience and graduated from U of L magna cum laude.  Patrick is a Spanish language major and speaks Spanish fluently.

A virtuoso pianist, vocalist and trumpet player, Patrick has won or finished very high in numerous competitions, as well as winning awards acknowledging the circumstances he has overcome to achieve these heights.

I suggest that you read Patrick Henry Hughes’ book, I am Potential. It just might change your life or the life of someone you love.

Please remember that people don’t have disabilities, they have dif-abilities!

Photo: www.patrickhenryhughes.com/images/

I am so sorry but I’m so excited!

People are coming out of the woodwork, as my mom would say to help us with the book! After this weekend, I will be blogging on such amazing things and guess what? You will be able to get a Rugby Jones stuffed doll and so much more. We are working very hard to get this off the ground and it will be worth it!!! Thanks for understanding! You are so way cool! Yeehawh!

Today, we recorded the audio of my book.

Guess what? We were in a sound studio with microphones and all kinds of recording machines. At first I was a bit nervous for my mom ‘cuz she did the talking. She did a good job and I was really proud of her. She even sounded just like I sound except that she missed a bark or two. I’m excited ‘cuz now people who can’t see with their eyes, will be able to hear all about me with their ears! How cool is that?

Enjoy Rugby Jones? Please spread the word :)

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