Randy Pierce and his guide “Quinn” climb Mount Monroe
The USM Office of Support for Students with Disabilities and The Maine Region of Guiding Eyes for the Blind invite you to an evening of adventure and inspiration as Randy and Quinn tell their tale of triumph!
“I didn’t plan to go blind; I didn’t plan to go into a wheelchair. But none of that is what defines my life, because we have full power to choose how we respond. The only thing a blind person can’t do is see.” Randy Pierce.
The White Mountain National Forest is home to 48 peaks over 4,000 feet in elevation. With heights ranging from 4003' to 6288', these craggy summits are known for their steep, rocky terrain and impressive views. Hiking in the White Mountains can be a daunting task for the heartiest among us but Randy Pierce doesn’t see a thing. Following the silent cues from his yellow lab, “The Mighty Quinn,” and feeling, listening, and visualizing the trails, he became the first blind person to climb all 48 of the 4,000 foot peaks in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
Randy Pierce grew up fully sighted, but at age 22, within the span of two weeks, he lost all the vision in his right eye, and half in his left. For several years, he endured tunnel vision, the dark closing in from the edges. In September 2000, he went totally blind. It was at this time that Randy was given a life altering gift. “Ostend,” a handsome golden retriever from Guiding Eyes for the Blind opened up a whole new, independent world to Randy. In 2003 the neurological disorder that claimed his vision, incapacitated Randy and he was in a wheel chair for almost two years. Tragically at this time, Ostend died of cancer. Randy did not give up. He received the gift of Quinn from Guiding Eyes, a magnificent yellow Labrador retriever. Quinn was especially chosen and trained to assist Randy as both a guide for mobility and sight. Randy's perseverance and motivation along with the dedication and support of friends and professionals helped him to walk and run and to find a new passion in hiking.
Randy's overwhelming gratitude, led him to found 2020 VISION QUEST.
The evening with Randy Pierce and the “Mighty” Quinn is generously sponsored by:
...and friends of Guiding Eyes for the Blind.