Legally blind tennis player beats the odds

FOX 51
Monday, March 17, 2014 - 8:13am

One sophomore tennis player at UT Tyler continues to pursue her passion, despite her disability.

Candyce Henwood sees the world a little differently than most people, not because she has a retinal disease that is slowly taking away her vision, but because of her positive attitude and undeniable resilience.

"That's life," Henwood said. "Life goes on. There are people that are much worse off than I am."

It was less than three years ago when Candyce was told she is legally blind.

"My whole life we didn't know I had this eye disease so I was living like what I saw was real," Henwood said. "That's how you're supposed to see, that's how you're supposed to live."

She later found out she has retinitis pigmentosa. People who have this disease start by losing peripheral vision, then night vision, then they get "tunnel vision" where they can only see a small portion of what is directly in front of them, and eventually it causes blindness.

But with the help of her teammates and her passion for the sport, Candyce is able to not only play tennis, but compete. She even lead her high school tennis team to win state as their captain.

"I think it's because I've been doing it my whole life, it's easier," Henwood said. "But I think if I just would've picked it up, I wouldn't be as good."

There is not a cure yet for the disease Candyce has, but doctors are working to create one, and if you would like to help donate please click the link


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