If you are lucky enough to see Daniel Mancina out skateboarding, you notice right away he has a cane. It takes a moment to comprehend why, because it seems almost impossible.
“The cane looks cool, cuz everyone is like - oh wow that guy is blind,” said Daniel.
Daniel has RP or Retinitis pigmentosa. It slowly has taken away his ability to see.
“I found out when I was 13. I went to a normal eye check up and the optometrist noticed something that wasn’t right,” said Daniel
By his early twenties the Livonia man lost much of his vision.
“I definitely went through a couple years of depression and feeling really bad about myself,” said Daniel.
He said at some point he decided he wasn’t going to give in to self-pity.
“You are only as disabled as your attitude is.”
He decided to try to get back on the board about four years ago. He wasn’t sure if he could do it. He is 100% blind in the left eye, and 95% blind in the other. The small peripheral vision he has in his right eye is blurry. The 29-year-old found he could skateboard using the lines he can barely see painted on a tennis court .
“I can’t see the board or the box. All I see are the white lines.,” said Daniel.
Still he attempts moves from the crooked grind to flip tricks.
“It is a really crazy feeling. It is all feel and trust that the board is going to be there.”
Like any skateboarder, Daniel wipes out. His message is about getting back up.
“It is just like in life. You know you need to keep getting up and dusting yourself off, no matter the obstacle in life,” he said.
Daniel is using social media to spread his story and inspire others. You can follow him at https://www.instagram.com/blindphoto/.