When Max thinks about his childhood growing up in Phoenix, he thinks of it as fairly normal. He played kickball in the backyard with his cousins and tag in the neighborhood with the neighbor kids. He played tee-ball and dreamed of becoming a Major League baseball pitcher.
But while he would grow up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Max always knew on some level there were certain specific things, like playing baseball, that he couldn’t do.
When he was born, no one noticed anything different about Max. "Eventually somebody noticed that my eyes weren’t following people when they moved," he says. His parents took him to multiple eye doctors. Finally, the diagnosis was confirmed. Max was blind.
He was three months old.
At that point, Max said his parents got advice that would steer the course of all of their lives. “They said ‘contact the Foundation for Blind Children,’ and literally the next day, they were on my parents’ doorstep.”
People from the Foundation for Blind Children taught Max’s parents how to help him navigate the world using sounds and touch. At the Foundation’s preschool, Max learned to read braille and use a cane to get around. He learned about technology that can assist people who are blind in incredible ways.