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Disabled Eau Claire Student Wins National Award

By: Chris Herzog
By: Chris Herzog

For most 16-year olds, thoughts revolve around driving, sports and college.
But one student here in Eau Claire is trying to look toward the future, knowing full well his eyesight is slowly diminishing.
Jordan Johnson will soon travel to Utah to accept a national award for his writing.
But the words in his essays are much more clear, than his future.
16-year old Jordan Johnson is a writer.
"You are not your disability, you are not your handicap. You are you and that's just part of who you are.", he says.
Johnson recently won a national award from the Yes I Can Foundation.
The organization honors students who despite their disability, excel in school.
Jordan has a condition called retinitis pigmintosa.
He says when he looks at the world, he sees everything through tunnelvision. And because of his condition, at some point in his life, he knows he'll go completely blind.
"Sure I'm going to miss my sight when I finaly do lose it. But right now, I'm going to focus on enjoying my sight while it lasts, have fun, do normal kids stuff."
From computer games, to hanging out with friends, Jordan is like any normal high school teenager.
But the Yes I Can award means much more to him, because it means he's an example for all of us.
"As a parent you hope that your kids can overcome the obstacles that come their way. And he obviously is working pretty hard to do that.", Sally Johnson, his mother says.
For now, Jordan continues to work towards graduation, and then college.
And despite the years ahead, and what could happen, he remains committed to not just living life.
But to making his mark on the world.
"Your dreams are possible, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Go for it, no one's going to stop you.", he said.


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