'What can Blind Veterans UK do for me?' by blind veteran Graham Kiff

2 October 2013 13:00

'What can Blind Veterans UK do for me?' by blind veteran Graham Kiff

In 2006, I was put in touch with a charity that I then had never heard of, now going by the name of Blind Veterans UK.

As I travelled to Brighton on way to my induction week, I was thinking how Doctors had told me that I had Retinitus Pigmentosa and one day everything would be black, and there was no treatment for my ever decreasing tunnel vision. So what could Blind Veterans UK do?

On my way home I was already missing the place and people I had just met, in that one week, my whole attitude and outlook on life and the future had changed forever.

Like the Basic training we have all been through when we joined the forces, gives us the foundation and ability to be a member of the Best Armed Forces in the world!

Blind Veterans UK gives us inspiration and the foundation to move forward with sight loss. I wanted and needed to do something, but I didn't know what that was.

Then I got a copy of the Review through the letter box, in it was a small paragraph asking if anyone wanted to take part in the London Triathlon in 2007. That was it!

So with the help of Louise and the Gym staff, I took part in the London Triathlon. I was the only Disabled person that year out of 10,000 or so entrants. Blind Veterans UK funded me and my guide to go to Hamburg that same year to enter the World Triathlon Championships, and I was the British Disabled Team, yes just me and my guide, the only Disabled entrants from Britain.

In 2008 again with Blind Veterans UK's support I went to Vancouver this time following on from more publicity and more interest, there were 4 of us in the British Disabled Team. I won the gold Medal, Guided by Alex White from Blind Veterans UK.

I can no longer take part in triathlons due to a shoulder issue but earlier this month in London there were 210 Para-triathletes lining up on the start line in Hyde Park for the 2013 World Championships.

How Fantastic is that, I was a part of that sport and so were Blind Veterans UK in helping get the numbers and publicity to where it is now, and it will be in the Paralympics in Rio.

So the answer to "what can Blind Veterans UK do for me"? More than I could ever have imagined. The story above is just a small part of what Blind Veterans UK have done for me.

From the Best Armed Forces In The World, to The Best Charity In The World.

I am and will continue to be

Thankful till the day I die.