Jenkem Magazine sat down for an fantastic interview with Dan Mancina, a fearless blind skateboarder from Livonia, Michigan who uses his cane to perform all sorts of awesome tricks. Jenkem also compiled video footage of Dan chopping wood, playing frisbee golf, throwing darts, and shooting an assault rifle with stellar precision.
How did you lose your vision?
I have an eye disease called RP or retinitis pigmentosa. It’s a hereditary degenerative disease. It’s different for each person but it slowly deteriorates your vision from the outside in. A couple of my brothers have it but they still drive and stuff so it hasn’t affected them as fast and aggressively as it has me. The last four years is when I lost the majority of my sight.
Do you have any vision left? How exactly does being blind look or feel?
There’s a very small portion of my right eye that has peripheral vision. lf I had to put a percentage on it, it’s probably 5%, but it’s more shadows and lights. If something’s not moving I can’t really see it. And it’s not clear vision. It’s like you put a bunch of layers of saran wrap and look through that. The little section I have helps me when I’m moving really slow, like pretty much helps me not run into large objects. When I skate I can’t see my skateboard or my feet. (read more)