When Jeremy Poincenot turned 19 in October, 2008, he was a typical San Diego State University sophomore. He enjoyed college life, friends, his fraternity and sports, and had 20/20 vision. Over the next few months Jeremy mysteriously lost his central vision first in one eye, then the other. He can no longer read without extreme magnification, drive, nor distinguish faces. He was eventually diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON) that left him legally blind. LHON affects only about 100 people in the U.S. each year, and has no treatment and no cure.
At first Jeremy assumed that losing his vision meant losing the ability to play golf, the sport he’d loved all his life. He soon learned that with a guide he can still play and compete. In 2010 he shocked the field of 60 from 14 countries at the World Blind Golf Championships in England by winning with a dramatic chip-in on a playoff hole. He has continued his success and is the U.S. National B-2 Blind Golf Champion.
Jeremy is striving to raise awareness of LHON, and to generate funds so that researchers can find a cure for this orphan disease. His mom, sister and brother are at risk of blindness, making the mission intensely personal. Jeremy and his friends created C.U.R.E. (Cycling Under Reduced Eyesight), an annual fundraising bike ride. Having already raised over $100,000 for LHON research, his current goal is to raise $1 million.
By sharing his story of suddenly becoming legally blind and turning adversity into triumph, Jeremy inspires audiences to overcome their own life challenges and live strong, confident lives. His warm, engaging manner captures the interest and hearts of his listeners.