Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Seeing Without Eyes

You already know about this guy, but I think he deserves a post, especially since we’re trying to document all these amazing people.

Ben Underwood was born with normal, healthy, beautiful brown eyes. However, at the age of two, he developed Bilateral Retnoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes that occurs only in infants. By the time he was three, doctors had removed both of his eyes in order to stop the cancer, rendering Ben completely blind.

After Ben awoke from his final eye surgery, his mother was as terrified and emotional as her baby boy. However, she explains, “I took his little hands and put them on my face and said, ‘See me, you can see me with your hands,’ next, I put my hand to his nose and said, ‘Smell me, you can see me with your nose,’ then I said, ‘Hear me, you can see me with your ears, you can't use your eyes anymore, but you have your hands, your nose, and your ears.’”

Ben and his family have never let a lack of sight be a hindrance on Ben’s life. As a result, Ben has taught himself to use echolocation. That’s right, he “sees” by hearing. With this amazing ability, Ben is able to run around the house, up and down the stairs, play basketball, ride a bike, and even swim with his dolphin buddies. Ben always says “I’m not blind… I just can’t see.”

This full-length documentary about Ben explains how echolocation works and shows him enjoying everyday life – most notable is the fact that he is always smiling! Also, check out his homepage for more information and news updates.

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