Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
blind_swimmers_braillebreak.jpg
Max Ashton (left) and Katie Cuppy plan to swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shore to raise money for the Foundation for Blind Children. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- You've heard of jail breaks. Now, a group of blind Valley swimmers are headed to California to do a "Braille Break from Alcatraz."

The group is planning to swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shore on Sept. 29. Its goal is to raise at least $25,000 dollars for the Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix.

Katie Cuppy is one of them. She said she had a tough start to life.

"I was born three months premature, and weighed only two pounds," she said. "Because I was born early, my optic nerves aren't fully developed, I don't have any peripheral vision. I can see shapes and colors. I can see some print if it's really large and up close."

Despite her condition, the 19-year-old Northern Arizona University freshman said she is living life to the fullest and is looking forward to the Alcatraz swim.

"It's about a mile and a half," said Cuppy. "Me and two other blind swimmers are going to attempt to swim that whole thing."

Joining her on the swim is 17-year-old Brophy Prep senior Max Ashton. He's also blind, but not afraid of adventure.

"On June 29, 2009, we had 8 blind climbers climb Mount Kilimanjaro," Ashton said. That peak is over 19,000 feet high.

"The next year, we did a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon in a single day. Again, that was with a group of blind people."

Cuppy said one reason she's doing the Alcatraz swim is to be an example to others.

"I want to go work with children with visual impairments and blindness," said Cuppy. "My whole goal is to teach them that (blindness) is not a negative thing. It's a part of my life that I embrace very much, and anybody can do the same.

"I want to teach them not to let it get in the way of anything that you want to do. If you feel you can't do something, try it anyway just for the sake of trying. If you never try, you don't know what your limits are, and there shouldn't be any limits, especially when it comes to blindness."

You can find out more about the "Braille Break from Alcatraz" at www.seeitourway.org.

Bob McClay, Reporter

share this story:
Attention KTAR.com Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.
close

Share: