Thursday 1st June, 2017
Imagine waking up blind. One moment you can see and the next moment your vision is only made up of childhood memories. At the age of 16 Ben Pettingill lost 98% of his eyesight overnight to a rare incurable genetic syndrome. On Wednesday, the students, staff and parents at Glenvale Melton had the privilege of witnessing his truly remarkable story told by Ben himself. We were quick to realise that he was not your average guy, but incredibly down to earth and free to share his ongoing efforts to overcome the loss of the most important sense. Ben’s amazing list of accomplishments whilst being blind include being the only legally blind person in the world to have competed in a Spartan obstacle race untethered and water-skied the Southern 80, the fastest water-skiing race in the world. In addition, he has completed the treacherous 96km Kokoda trail, with plans to do it again and again and again in the future!! He exhorted us to see things from the inside out and view life as an oasis of opportunity, taking each challenge one step at a time. We have been left feeling upbeat and motivated as we continue to push through our schooling years. While Ben may not be able to see physically, what he is able to see is that life has no limits other than what we impose on ourselves and on others. We may be limited in our own way, but that shouldn’t stop us in achieving our dreams. Thanks to Ben, a typical Australian guy with some added guts and an extra shot of adrenaline, Glenvale Melton is now seeing with #Truevision.
By Reuben Crick & Emerson Earl - Year 11
True Vision is about seeing life from the inside out and believing in yourself in the toughest of times. It is also about surrounding yourself with people that believe in you and believe in you for the right reason. It's like when I broke my arm, I've broken it twice on my right arm and I had to learn to write with my left hand and do most things with that hand. It's like when he woke up with no eyesight, he never gave up. Also when he did the Kokoda Trail and went Water Skiing and did the Spartan race untethered and was the first blind person to do that. He never would have been able to do that if he didn't see with True Vision and had self-belief.
Written By Micah Thomas - Grade 6
To find out more, visit Ben’s website www.benpettingill.com