The Blind Football Player With NFL Dreams Latest to Join Vision of Children Vision Heroes
It’s 4:30 in the morning on a week day. You are most likely still asleep, and will stay asleep for at least another half hour… that is unless you are Adonis Watt. While you are making your morning coffee, Adonis is hitting the gym before he starts class. When asked about why he begins his day so early, he will say "If you're passionate about something, go chase it." His calm, unwavering confidence is perfectly wrapped up in one simple quote. “Just Do You”. Quite simply, he wants to outwork his competitors. This 6 foot 2-inch-tall running back is chasing his dreams to be the first ever blind NFL Running back. With a 45-yard touchdown under his belt, Adonis proves he is more than just a competitor; he is the one to watch on the field.
Adonis began to lose his vision at the young age of five due to a rare form of glaucoma called congenital glaucoma. Adonis’s vision loss was sudden and unexpected. In the following days, his mother decided she would stay home to help him in whatever way he might need. In speaking about this time, his mother recalls Adonis asking her why she was going to quit her job to take care of him full time. His genuine confusion at the situation was their first indication that everything was going to be alright. Ultimately, his Mother continued to work full time with encouragement from Adonis. The path become a little more unknown with this diagnosis, but nevertheless, travel-able…This was not the plan; however, it certainly has become an inspiring journey says his Mother Veronica. “As a parent, you want your kid to be okay, and if your kid is showing you they’re okay, it’s kind of hard for you to not be [okay].” Adonis’ mom speaks on his calm demeanor while facing a diagnosis only 1 in every 10,000 kids face.
“Adonis is going to the NFL” Adonis types out on a Braille typewriter and reads aloud for everyone in the room. Adonis might be lacking sight, but his vision is extremely clear. When Adonis suddenly lost his eyesight, he gained a whole new vision for his life. Adonis will quickly tell others that “Vision loss is a diagnosis, not a disability”. It is evident to those around Adonis that he does not dwell in areas where he might have difficulties, instead, he uses the opportunity to learn alternative ways in which he can achieve his dreams, and does this without a misstep. That calm and cool demeanor can often downplay the immense amount of skill you must have to play a sport many people struggle playing with their sight. It is hard to imagine how much work must be put in to be a running back, especially a blind running back, but if anyone is ready for the challenge, it would be Adonis.
His mission is to help spread awareness on rare genetic vision disorders and encourage other children with visual impairments to find their passion. To watch his Vision Hero video and learn more about him, you can visit the Vision Hero page Here, or you can find it on our YouTube channel. Adonis uses his story and platform today to be an ambassador and Vision Hero for The Vision of Children Foundation.
 AAPOS. (2018, September). Glaucoma for Children. Retrieved from American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus: https://www.aapos.org/terms/conditions/55