THE STORY BEHIND
Out of Sight
The Story Behind OUT OF SIGHT
In 1993 at the young age of 22, I started experiencing flashes of light stemming from the corners of my eyes, similar to that of light bulbs flickering on and off. When I turned to look, nothing was there.
I did not know it at the time, but that was the first sign I was going BLIND.
Along with losing the vast majority of my sight, I also lost my license, my independence, my career as a firefighter, and my aspiration to play professional football in Canada was gone. As a result of the mounting losses I was suffering, accompanied with the unbearable grief and uncertainty as to what my now bleak future holds, I carried out an attempt to end my life. If it weren’t for two friends who unexpectedly dropped by my house and rushed me to the hospital, I wouldn’t be here today.
SURVIVING that ordeal made me see things very differently. I reemerged STRONGER THAN EVER and vowed to never let my disability beat me, or stop me from accomplishing great things.
In an effort to inspire others and raise money and awareness for my cause, without any cycling experience, I set out to be the first blind Canadian to cycle for a continuous three months for an average of 100 miles a day across Canada – the largest country in the world next to Russia!
Due to my lack of vision, I needed a tandem bike so someone could be my “eyes on the road” throughout the journey. Unfortunately, the bike, along with equipment and spare parts, would cost me roughly $10,000.
With the help of adaptive devices that allowed me to read and write, I began the daunting task of hand writing letters to different companies in search of support. Besides my family and a few friends, NOBODY BELIEVED IN ME.
After six months and my 150th rejection letter, I took matters into my own hands and committed to raising the money for a tandem bike on my own. Although my goal was OUT OF SIGHT, it wasn’t out of reach!
In 1995 I took the last $500 I had and created my OUT OF SIGHT t-shirt. The shirts were a huge hit at local events and I was able to raise the $10,000 I needed in just under 2 months – My PERSEVERANCE paid off. With support from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, PowerBar, Chrysler and many more, I conquered the journey across Canada and raised over $250,000 for the RP Research Foundation “Fighting Blindness.” To my surprise I was also named “One of the top 100 Canadians to watch for” by Maclean’s Magazine. On that near fateful day back in 1993, I had thought my life was over when really, it was just beginning!
OUT OF SIGHT is much more than just a logo on a shirt, ultimately it was responsible for me obtaining my tandem bike which turned my entire life around. Although the name originated from me tragically losing most of my sight, the t-shirt itself represented the HOPE of a better future, the VISION to see beyond all limitations, the COURAGE to tackle your dreams, the PERSEVERANCE to stick with it, and the STRENGTH to turn tragedy into TRIUMPH!
What would come next, nobody could have anticipated. I share this unbelievable story in my remarkably inspiring autobiography and Resurgence Strategy – BLIND STRENGTH.
"My message to those who may be struggling through adversity of their own is, never lose HOPE and always “BELIEVE in YOURSELF and FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS”
- Chris Delaney
Where It All Began: Chris Delaney Vision Tour 1997
In 1997 he set out to do something that nobody had ever done before. Being legally blind did not stop Chris from riding a bike from one side of Canada to another.