They are doing the seemingly impossible

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - "It is the best week pretty much ever!" exclaimed camper Casey Wigley. "I don't know if I'll ever do anything this amazing."

They come from all over East Texas, but they have one thing in common.

"It makes you sort of feel important that you can actually do something even though your sight is sort of gone," Kirsten Kirby said.

The campers are all visually impaired, but that doesn't stop them from the seemingly impossible.

"Obviously, you know, since I can't see and you know, you'd think that it's possible, 'Oh, she's blind, she can't, you know, walk across the rope, or, you know, just anything,'" said camper Kassandra Cardenas.

"It was a really good experience to know that you can basically do whatever you want to do even if you are visually impaired or completely blind like I am," Kirby agreed.

One instructor said just seeing the campers participate is life-changing.

"Getting folks like this to be able to accomplish and probably participate in things where probably a lot of times they either didn't let themselves or other people probably counted them out and didn't let them try," said Michael Maningas with the SFA Campus Recreation Department. "I mean, it's been a pretty special experience."

An experience where Cardenas is unable to see at 30 feet in the air, and she said she has the advantage.

"A lot of people are always like, they look down, 'I've heard that that's horrible,' Cardenas said. "So, not being able to see, guess that's like a benefit for me."

They inspired one counselor to face his fears.

"I figure if they can do it, I can do it as well," said Marcus French, who was helping the campers out.

They may not be able to see the hands clapping or their fellow campers below, but they can feel the support of sharing a common bond.

"You can chase your dream, you can believe in yourself, you can basically do whatever you want to do, except for people like me who can't drive," said Kirby.

Because, if you can walk a cable without looking, she said, almost anything is possible.

The week-long camp is a partnership between SFA and the division of blind services. The campers also get to go horse-back riding, swimming, and they get to learn how to use various instruments to help them learn.

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