Imagine waking up one day and learning that you’re going blind. Your entire life would be turned upside down. Millions of Americans are faced with blindness, or another disability, most of us take for granted.
Doug Goist is a pretty good golfer. Especially, when you consider he’s completely blind.
“There’s no pressure. The first blind golfer to make it to the final round," says Goist as he hits he ball on the tee.
For the past three decades he has learned to overcome great obstacles. Growing up he had perfect vision but when he turned 18 he noticed something was wrong.
"I was setting at the dinner table and I was looking at my plate and I made the comment that I couldn’t see my entire plate."
The news wasn’t good.
"The doctor came out and he had sort of a pamphlet and he said you have a retinal degenerative disease. There is no cure. There’s no treatment. Every morning I remember the first thing Id do is open my eyes and see the windows slowly shrinking."
Before he totally lost his eyesight Doug traveled the world. He wanted to see everything before it was too late.
"I saw the Colosseum at sunset, I went to climb the Notre Dame Cathedral, I went to the Eiffel Tower, seen Michelangelo’s David, Dachau the concentration camp, saw some of the Swiss Alps, I saw the Mona Lisa, I had some baguettes and some salami and some good wine.”
Today, Doug tries to meet every challenge head on.
About a year ago he became a goalie on a blind hockey team. This even surprised family and friends.
"It’s laughter because everyone think I’m putting them on and then I laugh because I think I’m putting myself on."
But, after all this time, after living years in darkness, Doug says he’s learned an important lesson.
"Just because one of your physical component has failed that doesn’t reduce any of the other components that you have in your system.
"We’re all one diagnosis or one accident from being exactly in my situation."
Sometimes in life you have to keep swinging. Even if it’s hard.
Goist works for the National Industries for the Blind. He helps create jobs and independence for other blind people throughout the United States.
He says he still has perfect vision when he goes to sleep. His dreams are still as visual and colorful as they were prior to 1986, the year he started losing his eyesight.