By Taylor Hemness - email
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Lorin Nicholson and his father travel Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S., speaking to young people about overcoming obstacles. His dad's with him because he can't do it alone.
"It's like being a pop star. I suppose to some degree, you have to have your own gimmick," Nicholson said. "And, I don't play on the fact that I'm blind. Being blind is part of who I am, or what I am, and the experience I've had in life."
Lorin was born with 10% sight. As he has aged, his sight has worsened. That hasn't stopped him from teaching himself how to play guitar, signing record deals, and even running his own business. But, beating the odds isn't the only message he wants the audience to learn.
"I want them to walk a mile in my shoes, as they say," Nicholson said. "When they put these glasses on, everyone in the audience watching is standing there with these glasses on too. They can see the change in the behavior, they can see the change in confidence and things, and I think they gain a greater appreciation for what it's really about."
"I wanted to see what it was really like," said Sarah Welch, a senior at All Saints that went on stage with Lorin, and volunteered to wear a pair of glasses that simulate what he sees. " I was just surprised when I put them on. I could barely see anything, it was so blurry."
Nancy Satterfield, the parent who organized Nicholson's visit to All Saints, was proud of the message the students got to hear.
"It's just so evident," Satterfield says. "Whereas in the day-to-day life, sometimes you don't realize what you might be doing to exclude someone, he makes that become real."
Lorin says if his audience takes anything away from his message, it's that if they're not careful, their own fears can be more daunting than any disability ever could be.
"Sometimes the greatest challenge we have in life is the one against ourselves trying to overcome that challenge," Nicholson said. "Some of the experiences I share I hope not only tell them what to do, but show them how. How it can be done on a down-to-earth level that they realize, 'This is how it applies to me.'"
Tyler was Lorin's last stop before heading back to Australia to perform in a Christmas concert on national television.