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The Blind Ascent

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My name is Esha Mehta and I am an athlete from Boulder, Colorado (United States). I am trying to raise $425, so that I can continue pursuing my passion, climbing. I am training hard and doing whatever I can to keep getting better.

Blind since birth due to being born at 24 weeks, doctors were fairly certain I would not survive. Family came from India to visit me in America because they weren’t sure if they would ever get another chance. I was able to fit in my parents hand from head to toe. I like to say that this was the only time I have been early for anything. I like to keep a positive outlook and make people laugh about my disability to ease tension and help them feel comfortable asking questions. As a child, due to me being   first generation  from India, my parents struggled to find resources for me to embrace and function as a blind person. Because of their cultural views on disability and lack of knowledge around how blindness isn’t a life sentence or a completely debilitating disability, I was forced to act sighted and hide my blindness. I did not embrace my blindness until I was 19, where I sought Independence training at the Colorado Center for the Blind, where I learned skills to become independent, gained confidence, and learned that I am capable of being a contributing member of society. This was where I met positive blind roll models and realized my dreams were absolutely reachable despite blindness. This was also where I rock climbed for the very first time. I learned that my blindness wasn’t something to be ashamed about and that it would only stop me from moving forward if I let it. After graduating from the center, I fell away from rock climbing mainly because of college and dealing with mental health issues.

In 2015, my life was forever changed when a friend told me about Paradox Sports in Boulder, Colorado.  I went to a club night and was instantly reunited with my passion and love for climbing.  A dear friend of mine encourage me to join the competitive team, so in March of that year, I did. That July, I was invited to compete at the national level. Since then, competing has been a huge love of mine. I love climbing, whether it is competitively or leisurely. Competing has helped me grow my confidence even more  and  has helped me tremendously as I begin recovering  from  mental illness. I view climbing as a metaphor for life. On a difficult route, it may take a few tries before you can reach the top. Every time you keep pushing yourself on this route, you get further and further. This is how I view life. I have had tremendous amount of challenges and hardships, but each time I keep pushing forward, I get  higher.

I need all the help I can get. I would appreciate your support in the form of a small contribution to this fundraiser or a simple share on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter etc..). I will do my very best to keep you updated on my training progress and my ups and downs on the road to success. Every contribution, share, and good vibes will help me tremendously. Your monetary donations will help me offset the cost of equipment, such as bluetooth headsets that I use to communicate with my guide while I am climbing during competition, and a climbing helmet for safety. Can you help me break down stigma against blindness and mental illness?? It will take us, together, as a team to re-define what it means to have a disability.


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