John Hill– a 43-year-old Springfield resident–lost his eyesight three years ago.
Hill became completely blind in his left eye and developed limited vision in his right after doctors diagnosed him with Posterior Reverisble Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES).
Despite his condition, Hill hasn’t let blindness stop him from trying new things.
Now, he’s a champion archer.
This month, Hill competed in the Illinois Target Archery Association (ITAA) competition and took home a state title in his division. He also set a new state record for a visually impaired archer.
On August 29, he’ll compete in the inaugural Chicago Para-Archery Championship, his first national classification event.
Hill became serious about archery last year through a program from the Educational Center for the Visually Impaired (ECVI), the same organization that helped Hill regain his independence when he first got out of the hospital.
Thanks to a grant from the Access Recreation Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, Hill and five other visually impaired students from the ECVI attended Rigney’s School of Archery in Glenarm.
Hill currently serves on the educational center’s Board of Directors and is chairman of the ECVI fundraiser committee.
“My overall goal is to let others out there know, that are blind or visually impaired, don’t be scared. There are tools out there. There are people out there to help you,” says Hill. “Put your mind to it and you can do whatever you want to do.”