Breckenridge bound: Wichita teen defies odds on the slopes

KSN Digital Extra

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – On Thursday, February 27, Andrew McLeod,19, will be in Breckenridge, Colorado for the annual Anthem Winter Sports Fest.

McLeod will be one of 14 participants from across the country to attend the ski festival, hosted by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA).

He says he is especially excited to attend because it will be his first time hitting the slopes.

“I decided just to do it anyway because I thought it would be awesome to go do something with other visually impaired people, like go learn how to ski, cause skiing seems like something that I can kind of do for the rest of my life and really have a lot of fun,” said McLeod.

He was diagnosed with Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis at birth.

“It’s a retinal eye disease, and it kind of affects my cones and rods. So, I’m loosing like color and at the same, I’m losing my field of vision,” added McLeod.

McLeod is a driven young man, not letting his impairment control what he does in his life; instead, he uses it as motivation.

“Like over the years, I’ve learned a lot about like how to kind of like succeed with visual impairment. Like now, honestly, I think it’s kind of a blessing cause I’ve learned plenty of life lessons that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise,”

The 19-year-old is a sophomore at Wichita State University studying computer science. He hopes to move to Denver after graduating from the university to pursue his career path in computer science.

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