It’s 4:30 in the morning on a week day. Most people are, likely, still asleep, and will stay asleep for at least another half hour… that is everyone except Adonis Watt. While most people are just making their 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 age of 5 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.
“As a parent, you want your kid to be OK, and if your kid is showing you they’re OK, it’s kind of hard for you to not be [OK].” Adonis’ mom speaks on his calm demeanor while facing a diagnosis only 1 in every 10,000 kids face.
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. It is hard to imagine how much hard work is required to become a running back, especially a blind running back, but if anyone is ready for the challenge, it would be Adonis.
Adonis uses his story and platform today as an ambassador and Vision Hero for The Vision of Children Foundation. His hope is to help spread awareness of rare genetic vision disorders and to encourage other children with visual impairments to find their passion.
The mission of The Vision of Children Foundation, a San Diego-based nonprofit, is to cure hereditary childhood blindness and vision disorders and to improve the quality of life of visually impaired individuals and their families.
To learn more about The Vision of Children and to watch Adonis’ Vision Hero video, you can visit the Vision Hero page at www.visionofchildren.org or go to The Vision of Children’s YouTube channel.
— News release