2018 Co-Chair Hayden McMullan
Hayden is 9 years old and was born with Oculocutaneous Albinism and an eye condition called Nystagmus. The Albinism is a genetic disease in which both parents must be carriers of the gene. The Nystagmus is also a disorder of the eye which he developed not long after birth. It causes involuntary movement back and forth of his eye. Hayden’s eye acuity throughout the day can be between 20/200 (level which is considered legally blind) to 20/400. Depending on the lighting, how he is feeling and the circumstances of the day, his vision can worsen at any time. Hayden’s vision cannot be corrected with lenses or surgery as the vision loss is caused in the optic nerve to the brain.
At a young age Hayden had a huge interest in sports. He is a very active child and loves to socialize. Hayden played soccer from ages 4-8 until he found it too hard to keep up with his mates. Hayden enjoys swimming and his vision has never held him back from excelling in the sport but he found it wasn’t enough of an interaction with others to keep his interest. This was when we found Goal Ball. Hayden has now played his first year of it and is absolutely hooked. Not only is he loving the competiveness of the sport but loves the ability to play and compete with other children in the low vision community. Its like we have found our family away from home now. He looks forward to taking the sport as far as he can and he appreciates what ASRAB has provided so far for him. It wasn’t until we became members of ASRAB that we learned there was such a sport as Blind Hockey. Hayden has now spent the last year determined to learn how to skate so he will be able to participate in this sport when he is at the appropriate age. The sports and events he has been able to attend now through ASRAB have turned him into the most confident, abled child you could imagine. He doesn’t let any of his vision loss hold him back and he hopes to lead other children with similar abilities to find the athlete within them.