Monday, October 04, 2010

Blind Man Takes Up 35-Year Goal of Scuba Diving

What's not to love about a story like this?

Throughout his 55 years, Peter Gillard of Petoskey has lived life to the fullest.

"He's never let things slow him down," said Amy Gillard, one of Peter's two sisters. "There are things he knows he can't do, things he knows he'll never be able to do, but from an attitude standpoint, he just plows through."

With only partial sight in his right eye, Gillard has been legally blind since birth.

"Never does Peter lay in bed and say to himself, 'Life isn't fair and I'm not getting up today,' said Peter's sister, Lisa Blanchard. "Everything he's ever loved in his life he needs good eyes for, and he's never been crabby about it. He just says to himself that this is his life and this is how I'm going to live it."

Facing challenges head on -- for Peter, that's what life is all about.

So when he told his family he was going to take up scuba diving, an activity that challenges even those with perfect vision, they had no doubt he would succeed.

"I said 'Go Peter,'" Lisa exclaimed. "I knew he would do it."

"You can call it a 35 year goal of mine," Peter Gillard said. "Learning to scuba dive had been in the back of my mind as something I wanted to do some day. So when I saw the movie, 'The Bucket List,' I knew I had to do it."

In January of 2010, while preparing for a family vacation to Hawaii, Gillard decided it was time to test the waters.

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Masks off to you, sir.

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