The son of two migrant workers in Arizona, Gabino Lares as a child was looking at a relatively predictable adulthood. He would work hard, cherish his family and the country that seemed to offer more opportunity than the one his parents had left.
No one could have imagined what happened when he was 14.
School was out for the year. Gabino had left middle school behind, and was looking forward to a summer of baseball, baseball and more baseball. He was a pitcher.
And then during an early summer game, "a line drive up the middle caught the corner of my eye," Lares said. The head injury caused damage to his optic nerve, which sends messages from both eyes to the brain, resulting in what we simplistically call vision.
Although he was hit near his left eye, "my right eye thinks it's hurt too," Lares said. "Overnight, I was blind."
Specifically, his vision is measured at 20/800 in one eye and 20/1,000 in the other. In the United States, legal blindness is defined as 20/200 or worse in both eyes (20/200 vision is the ability to see at 20 feet what a normal eye can see at 200 feet). He more than qualified.
For about six months after the accident, he said, he did almost nothing.
And then he began running. "Out of rage."
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