“I was born in Hamilton Ontario, 2 months too early which is why I have a visual disability. I was so small that they put me in an incubator. I think I was only 2 pounds when I was born and back in the 60’s they didn’t really know much about incubators so they turned up the oxygen too high and my retinas got damaged. That’s how I lost my sight.”
Can you tell me about your faith journey?
“I remember going to church with my aunt once in a while. It was really formal, the choir was very traditional and the minister would go on and on. And I didn’t like it because I just got bored. My mother came from a Baptist home and my dad was united with an Italian background – both had very strict backgrounds so they brought us up with the freedom to make our own decisions with religion. I used to stay with my Aunt in a little village outside of Brantford on some weekends. She went to a Baptist church and I would go to the youth group and I really enjoyed it. There was this one time during youth group where we could raise our hand if we wanted to be saved and I remember raising my hand; it was a very surreal feeling of being saved even though I really didn’t know what it meant at the time. But after high school and university I didn’t go to church. There was just other things to do: spend time at the gym or spin class. It wasn’t until I went through a personal crisis a few years ago that really made me rethink my commitments and affiliations with people. So in 2016 I decided to go to the Marcus Mosley concert at CMUC in June and I thought if I don’t like it I don’t have to come back. But I really liked it so I kept coming back. I really like the music and the people at CMUC. And on my first day there, somebody introduced himself to me and now I usually walk with him to coffee and it’s something that I look forward to. Beth has been really great too. She thought being a part of the hospitality team would be a great way for me to meet people at the church. She really tries her best to make sure everyone feels included and involved in church if they want to be.
Besides church, I am really interested in physical fitness. Not competing anymore. I used to compete in swimming in the Paralympics and I went to Seoul in 1988. I used to compete in dragon boating as well but I’m not committed to winning anymore and that wasn’t fair to the team so I thought it would be best to do my own thing. Now I go to a trainer once a week who tailors my workouts, and I go to the gym on my own for weight training and I swim with a local Masters swim club. It’s all really good and I enjoy it a lot!”