Legally Blind Athlete Shows True Heroism

Rachael Scdoris enters her second Iditarod race, and finds time to raise money for other visually impaired athletes.

Rachael ScdorisRachael  is legally blind, she's set her sights firmly on entering this years grueling Iditarod dog sled race, starting in March.

Last year, she finished 700 miles of the race, withdrawing only when some of her dogs became ill.

This year, the 21-year-old athlete from Bend, Ore., hopes to finish all 1,150 miles, from Anchorage to Nome on the Bearing Sea.

The Iditarod, called The Last Great Race on Earth, traverses mountains, frozen rivers and dense forests in sub-zero weather.

Scdoris was born with a rare vision disorder which limits her vision to about 20 feet. That means she can't legally drive a car. During the race, a guide will run a dog-sled ahead of her and tell her of obstacles on a two-way radio.

Meantime, Scdoris will be raising money for other athletes who are visually impaired, she said. Donations will benefit the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes. She said corporate sponsor, Standard Insurance Co., will match donations up to a total of $50,000. For more information, visit the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes website.

Posted: Feb. 23, 2006, 5 a.m. EST


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Lee   Sioux Falls, SD

11/18/2008 4:09:53 PM

Rachel has twice demonstrated her commitment and concern for her dog team by stopping when it was definitely in their best interest but also finishing when she knew they could do it. Her life is an inspirational journey of determination and demonstrating that attitude and willingness to work will overcome adversity. She is a role model for all young women and sight-challenged people of all ages.

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