by Alexa from Hellertown
"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." -Mark Twain
A hero represents someone who portrays a positive and inspiring image. Someone, who makes the best of every situation in life and acts as a role model. My hero is a young boy named AJ. AJ is someone who faces an everyday struggle and makes the best of it. He was born blind with a congenital condition known as Leber's Congenital Amaurosis. This 7-year old boy goes through everyday life battling a struggle that no one can comprehend. AJ has a huge heart and is never grumpy or negative. When attempting a new task AJ never fears whatever consequence a new experience may hold. He understands a new task is difficult and never gets frustrated. Other individuals would easily become frustrated when attempting something new and unfamiliar. For example, his mother taught him to swim freestyle by using his body to learn the stroke technique. He has never visualized this stroke, but learns by feeling the water environment. This type of learning would be frustrating to others because sight guides the process. AJ doesn't let his disability affect his everyday life. He's learned that seeing isn't a necessity. AJ is also my hero because he is very sociable and can entertain a crowd. He likes to tell jokes. His positive personality is infectious. He has a way of making everyone around him feel happy. When AJ is around, he has a way of making people feel joyous and lively. Other individuals with a deficit may portray a poor attitude because of a loss. AJ however, greets the challenge with joy.
AJ competed in Special Olympics playing baseball and was champion of the National Braille Challenge in Los Angeles, CA. AJ also competes on a summer swim team. He dives effortlessly from the starting block and swims the entire length of the pool not knowing where the end of the wall is. Anyone else wouldn't even think of walking around a pool area. AJ and his family also competed in the 4th Annual Golf Tournament to raise money for the Foundation for Retinal Research, also known as "AJ for Eyes." On June 3rd 2013, during the Phillies vs. Marlins game AJ was able to speak with former first baseman, Ryan Howard. AJ gave him a bracelet from his organization "Raising Awareness for LCA" and said "I hope you hit a homerun!" Howard was indeed successful and hit his 305th home run in recognition of AJ. This encounter with Ryan Howard made AJ an internet sensation. Ellen DeGeneres heard about this encounter and tweeted "I would love to meet this kid!"
Imagine living life without one of the 5 senses. AJ's blindness does not prevent him from trying any activity. AJ is somebody who takes advantage of his disease and makes the best of it. He doesn't let anything get in his way or let anyone put him down. Despite the possibility of injury, he never hesitates to try something new. He overcomes the difficult obstacles in life and never becomes agitated or frustrated. AJ truly is a hero.
Page created on 1/30/2014 12:00:00 AM
Last edited 1/30/2014 12:00:00 AM
The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.