Dale Layne came to New York City from his home in Guyana, South America to find a treatment for his congenital glaucoma. He found a treatment but not a cure and at age nineteen lost most of his sight. Today, Dale is twenty-seven and his eyesight has not improved. He’s blind and is among the approximate 21.2 million people who reported experiencing vision loss in the 2006 National Health Interview Survey. (Link)
Here in New York, the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (link) estimates that there are 120,000 blind New Yorkers and nearly 1 million New Yorkers with vision loss. Of those 120,000 blind New Yorkers, I currently know three intimately. When we meet, we're tethered as we run through the park. Today, *Dale and I tethered to together during the Run With Heidi Program where we're training along with four others to run the August 16, 2009 New York City Half-Marathon.
Dale and I met through the Achilles Track Club where he has been running about four to six miles twice per week. Dale said that the idea of running for thirteen miles is exciting and a little scary but since he lost his eyesight he is determined to face new challenges. He hopes that by running thirteen miles he can be an inspiration to others.
Today, Heidi Jones posted to her blog that Dale, "has a quiet, but impressionable demeanor that captivated all of us." After hearing more of Dales' plight I agree and add that a real man came from Guyana to help inspire us all.
*My May 12, 2009 blog post stated that Richard Bernstein would be my blind running partner. Richard has since left the team.
Dare To Dream Really Big