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Paralympian with MS Joins the Walk

"Without a vision you can do anything it's just done differently." Danelle Umstead

UTU_DanelleSochiAt the age of 13, Danelle Umstead was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic eye condition where the retina progressively degenerates and eventually causes blindness. Currently, her spotted vision limits her sight to less than five feet, and even then, only contrasting colors without any level of detail. There is no chance of return vision, nor is there a cure.

Shortly after winning two Bronze medals at the 2010 Paralympic Games in Vancouver, Danelle was diagnosed with MS, and initially she was in disbelief and thought, “I already can’t see. Why this? Why now?” But, she stopped asking those questions and instead chose to prevent any diagnosis from keeping her from what she loves: Ski racing.

"I didn't give up; I pushed through. I believe that I do it with heart and determination," said Danelle. With her husband as her ski guide to help navigate the course at speeds reaching up to 65 mph, she continues to compete and win medals with her most recent Bronze at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

In her words, “Without a vision you can do anything – it’s just done differently.” 

 

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