Fight with Blindness


Kristin DiPede, Writer

In a world of darkness it is unknown where to run, walk, or hide. It is a mysterious world that in some cases is impossible to escape. There is the inability to do all the things that were once enjoyable. The possible has now become impossible. Although for Travis Freeman, the impossible was possible. In an interview with Fox News on October 17, he told of his stimulating story.

Just an ordinary kid playing football in Kentucky was Travis Freeman, until he came upon a severe sinus infection. It was the worst sinus infection anyone could have, 70 percent of the people who experience it die from it. Freeman was the second case in the entire world that this infection corrupted only the eyes. In less than 48 hours of the sinus infection, Freeman was blind. Once being able to see a whole football field from one end to the other, his eyes became shut out from the rest of the world.

Freeman had extreme faith in God; as soon as he had discovered he was blind he believed he would still be able to play football. He claims that he always knew God had a plan for him. “I want to overcome this and beat this. And it’s turned into the message of my story in the book, Lights Out, and ‘23 Blast,’” Freeman told Fox News.

Freeman did not want to cease playing football simply because he had a disability. He had no desire to end what he enjoyed doing most, so he worked at becoming the best he could be with his disability. Freeman’s parents told his coach that they did not expect him to play at all, just him being there meant a great deal to him. His coach demanded that he would play, and did everything in his power to help Freeman learn how to play football while blind.

“23 Blast” is the movie that is inspired by Freeman’s entire story of his struggles to play football while being blind. It premiered October 18 in New York and 600 screens in the country on October 24. “It’s a humbling thing. When someone comes to you and says, ‘We want to make a movie about your life,’ you don’t think it’s really going to happen. But here we are. It’s been a long journey,” Freeman said to Fox News.

The whole movie is not about Travis Freeman though, it is inspired by him. Freeman states, “It’s not the Travis Freeman story. The movie isn’t, but it’s inspired by my story and it really captures the spirit of my story.”

Freeman created the Freeman Foundation. The message of the foundation is that disability does not equal inability. “We all have obstacles in our life that we have to overcome. It may be cancer, it may be the loss of a job, and I just want people to be inspired to not give up and to overcome and to face adversity with a positive attitude,” he tells Fox News. Freeman wanted to inspire those who have disabilities that there is something better worth living for, and there’s greater things in life than to worry over one thing. Even though a disability may hold you back, there are other paths that can be taken.

Social media has become a large contributor as to how Freeman interacts with people all around the world. He uses Twitter to speak with others and relate the same problems. He convinces others to not give up on themselves as he never did.