Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer Talks About ‘No Barriers’ And Receives Victory Award® | MedStar Health

Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer Talks About ‘No Barriers’ And Receives Victory Award®

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At age 13 Erik Weihenmayer lost his eyesight due to a condition called retinoschsis, characterized by the abnormal splitting of the retina’s neurosensory layers.
Determined not to let his blindness become him, Erik learned to rock climb. Through time, he took that determination further – from simple rock formations to daring challenges very few humans would try – conquering all seven summits of the world and boldly attempting kayaking down the roiling rapids of the Colorado River.

Erik recently spoke to MedStar NRH Team Members at a special event, held at the Carnegie Institute in Washington, D.C.,
Weihenmayer talked about his book No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon. He said that he was not going to let his disability prevent him from his daring feats. “Some people are campers,” said Weihenmayer. “I’m a climber.”

Some facts about Erik Weihenmayer:
• May 25, 2001 – Erik became the only blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest
• At age 13, he developed a condition known as retinoschsis (an eye disease characterized by the abnormal splitting of the retina's neurosensory layers, usually in the outer plexiform layer. Most common forms are asymptomatic, some rarer forms result in a loss of vision in the corresponding visual field) which robbed him of his vision
• He was a wrestler in high school despite being blind and represented his home state of Connecticut in a national junior wrestling championship in Iowa
• He discovered rock climbing as a teenager and developed the ability to scan aspects of rock formations with his hands and feet as he climbs
• Graduated with a double major from Boston College
• Was a middle school teacher and wrestling coach

For more information about Erik, check out his website -

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