Updated: Jan 22, 2020
Isaac McBurney, a 15-year-old legally blind disability advocate from Kansas City, MO, calls me his hero, but secretly he’s mine.
Born a triplet with severe vision impairment caused by retinopathy of prematurity, Isaac arrived 14 weeks early, weighing only 1lb 15oz. He has since undergone a dozen surgeries, but he doesn’t let his circumstance control his life. Nor does he let it limit his positive impact on others. Instead, he uses it to fuel who he is and what he does. He plays outside, rides his bike, excels at school, and is a champion for change and empowerment in his community.
Isaac volunteers at Alphapointe, an organization that helps blind and visually-impaired people find employment. Ironically, he won the “Erik Weihenmayer Trailblazer Award,” at his summer camp, given to the camper that demonstrates exceptional leadership and willingness to help others.
He emailed me last spring and included a speech he wrote for school about why inclusion and equal rights matter. An excerpt:
“All I want to do here is just inspire one person to Be, Do, and Think Different, as my role models inspired me. “Different” is normal.”
I invited Isaac to “rope up” with me and No Barriers for our “What’s Your Everest” event.
He rose to the challenge with equal parts enthusiasm and enterprise. He flew from Missouri to Colorado, completed the 6.5-mile hike up a 12,500-foot mountain in Arapahoe Basin, AND was a top fundraiser — generating an impressive $4,214 in only 30 days.
With trailblazers like Isaac, our future is in good hands. Welcome to the No Barriers family.
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