Wilmington man works to create opportunities for blind community - | WBTV Charlotte

Wilmington man works to create opportunities for blind community

John Hondros spends his days working to adapt to his life as a blind man and to find opportunities for himself and other blind people in the community. (Source: WECT) John Hondros spends his days working to adapt to his life as a blind man and to find opportunities for himself and other blind people in the community. (Source: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

John Hondros lost his eyesight after a freak accident in 2005. Now he spends his days working to adapt to his life as a blind man and to find opportunities for himself and other blind people in the community.

Hondros was headed to work one day in December of 2005 when he slipped on a patch of ice on a metal staircase.

Because he has type 1 diabetes, his eyes started to bleed internally. He had surgeries to try to fix the problem but scar tissue from those surgeries caused him to completely lose his eyesight.

Hondros was living in Wilmington at the time of the accident but decided to move to Raleigh because there were more opportunities and activities for him to do as a blind man there. About a year ago, he had to move back to Wilmington to take care of his mom after his dad passed away.

When Hondros moved back to the Port City, he realized how there were little to no opportunities and activities for the visually impaired compared to what he had available to him in Raleigh.

Hondros decided to get together with his social worker and Wilmington Parks and Rec to see what activities he could arrange for blind people. 

They recommended he start a social group. And that is exactly what he did.

Hondros recently founded the Port City Daredevils. 

"One of the movies that struck me when I did go blind, was 'Daredevil'," Hondros said. "That movie is very true to how a blind person reacts to the world - except for the radar sense of hearing and his superhuman abilities to jump from building to building, of course." 

The Port City Daredevils is a social group for the visually impaired and handicapped so they are able to get out of the house, get together, to have some fun.

"They called the Daredevil, 'The Man Without Fear,'" Hondros said. "And I looked at what I had been through over the last 10 years and I said to myself, 'I have been living without a fear. I have no fear of jumping out of a plane or going hang gliding.'" 

Though the group is fairly new to the Port City, Hondros has big plans for their future.

He has purchased an electronic dart board for them to use, he has trivia nights lined up, activities at Cape Fear Games planned, bowling at Cardinal Lanes, and much more. 

In the future, he hopes to travel across the state with the group in hopes of inspiring the disabled to get out of their homes and be active in their community and with the general public.

Hondros said finding transportation is a little bit of a setback for them right now. He said in Raleigh, the blind community had a deal with the cab companies where they could get rides for a reduced price since it was their main way of getting around. He said, a deal like that doesn't exist in Wilmington so it's harder for the people in the group to get to events and gatherings.

If you would like to get involved with the Port City Daredevils or want more information about the group, you can email john at hondros2@gmail.com or check them out on Facebook.

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