Rob Matthews always knew that one day he would be completely blind. He had inherited a congenital eye condition from his father and after a childhood of painful visits to eye clinics, where he was used as a textbook example for multitudes of medical students, he eventually became completely blind. After qualifying as a not very good Braille typist and with the aid of guide dogs and supportive parents, he began to lead an independent life. When the loneliness of his life began to get to him, he started looking for a sport he could try, and after a series of misadventures, found his true calling as a long-distance runner. His rise in the sport was meteoric, and before long Rob was winning gold medals and breaking world and Paralympic running records like there was no tomorrow. With a new wife and job and a satisfying and rewarding life as an international sportsman, he thought he had it all. But tragedy hadn't finished playing with his life, and he was devastated when his vibrant and healthy young wife was suddenly struck down by a brain aneurysm, leaving him bereft and alone again. His spirited fight back from the depression that resulted to find love once more with a Kiwi designer on her OE saw him regain his interest in life and in life after running. They have since moved to New Zealand, where Rob has established a new career as an inspirational speaker.
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