Principal's lifelong dream

May 12, 2009 4:08:20 PM PDT
A Berks County principal has one of his lifelong dreams in sight and he plans to accomplish it before he goes blind.Brad Hart is Principal of Whitfield Elementary School in West Lawn. He's on a mission and he's is running out of time.

"I have Retinitis Pigmentosa I have been diagnosed with that for over 25 years."

His vision has already degenerated greatly and in approximately 5 years his eyes will completely and permanently shut down.

His list of things to accomplish before then is nearly complete he went to Pittsburg to watch the Steelers play a home game; he went sky diving but his most ambitious goal will be met this August. That's when Brad, his brother, and some scouts travel to Tanzania, Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Brad says he understands the enormity of his mission.

"We'll start climbing around 12:30 - 1:00 in the morning and having night blindness I won't be able to see a thing."

But his plan to climb one of the tallest mountains on Earth comes with an added motivation. Brad is taking on sponsors for his trip and the money raised will go toward sight-saving surgery for visually-impaired children in Central America who would otherwise go blind.

"My vision itself isn't correctible but if I can do something to help a child and correct their vision before they go blind then it's worthwhile for me."

And when he returns from Africa, Brad says he'll dedicate his life to the final item on the list spending a whole lot of time with his wife and kids. And being sure they're the last thing he sees when his vision fades forever.

His son Nickolas says he understands the meaning behind the list.

"Because then we won't be able to play with him and do all the fun things like we usually do."

"People are good natured but I think sometimes we tend to overlook the little things that make a big difference until they're gone you don't realize what you had," said Brad.

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