No Sight? No Problem!
Written by Jamie on 16th July 2018
A sports car fanatic from Cardiff is about to prove that sight loss will not stand in his way when it comes to driving his dream car.
On 20 July 2018, blind volunteer Dan Roche will drive an Aston Martin DB9 at Heyford Park airfield, an ex RAF base in Oxfordshire. The Aston Martin is fitted with dual control brakes, and Dan will be accompanied by a sighted driver as he makes his way down the runway.
41 year old Dan, was born partially sighted and is now registered blind as a result of Alström Syndrome – a rare genetic condition. A volunteer for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Dan hopes that his fundraising feat will not only raise money, but inspire others living with sight loss to never say never.
“Since the age of three, I’ve been interested in racing, cars and everything motor powered, and my dream has always been to one day drive an Aston Martin.
“My family and friends always take me for a drive in their cars, but soon I will have the chance to take the wheel myself – the wheel of a DB9.
“I will learn how a sighted person manages the controls, and feel the way a person interacts with them. I will hear, and can sometimes even smell, what the vehicle is doing.
“I’m using this Driving Blind Challenge to raise money for RNIB Cymru, and I’m hoping to inspire other blind and partially sighted people to not let sight loss stand in their way.”
The money Dan raises will help RNIB Cymru support the 9,430 blind and partially sighted people in Cardiff, helping them to adjust emotionally and practically to living with their condition and give them the confidence to live their life to the full.
Kate Wilson, Area Fundraising Manager for RNIB Cymru, said:
“Dan is an asset to RNIB Cymru with the time he dedicates as a volunteer. Him driving an Aston Martin will prove that sight loss shouldn’t stand in the way of people pursuing their hobbies and gaining the confidence to achieve their goals. Every penny raised in Dan’s challenge will go towards supporting blind and partially sighted people in Wales to lead full and independent lives.”
The event has been organised by iCan Experiences. Paul Nicol, founder of iCan Experiences said:
“I’m really looking forward to welcoming Dan on our next Blind Supercar driving day, I’m confident he’ll leave with a big smile and a spring in his step! This is an excellent opportunity for Dan, and other blind and partially sighted people, to do something that they never thought possible. I’m pleased we’re able to support RNIB Cymru on this event.”