CNIB’s own Diane Bergeron, Executive Director, Strategic Relations and Engagement, breaks barriers and opens doors for people who are blind or partially sighted every day as part of her advocacy work. Last summer, Diane broke a significant barrier as the only blind athlete participating in the Ironman triathlon at Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.
Born with retinitis pigmentosa, Diane became legally blind at 10 years of age and lost all sight at the age of 30. Over the years, Diane has always welcomed personal challenges which have included the likes of skydiving and stock car racing.
“For my 50th year I wanted to do something really big, something that I never in my wildest dreams as I grew up thought that I’d be doing, or that anybody else thought I’d be doing at the age of 50,” she says.
Diane was accompanied by her friend Chery Chichak. The pair used a rope to link them during the swim and a tandem bicycle. “Cheryl gives me all the information I need. She is my eyes,” says Diane.
“I know people who have recently lost their sight, and it’s very difficult. I think the message that I would give them is that there is life after blindness, and they are only limited by own attitudes and behaviors. Life can be whatever it is that they want it to be, and they shouldn’t let their lack of sight reduce their full vision.”
The Ironman event featured a video profile of Diane that was recently featured on TSN. Click here for her full story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kudPgYz-y34