Erik Weihenmayer was the first blind man ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 2001. Sabriye Tenberken opened the first school for the blind in Tibet and co-founded an organization called Braille Without Borders.
Sabriye had told her teenage students stories of how Erik had climbed the highest mountains on all of the seven continents. The students could hardly believe it. How was that possible for a blind person? In Tibet, many blind people live in shame. There, it's commonly believed that blindness is punishment for something a person has done wrong in a previous life.
In the letter to Erik, Sabriye writes: "They try to hide their canes to walk invisible and convenient on the arm of the sighted. And at this day when I ended your story by saying, 'this man, who is blind like you climbed the top of the world, not by holding the arm of a sighted friend, but with the help of some strings and two canes,' they all proudly decided to walk on their own."
Sabriye invited Erik to visit but Erik had bigger ideas for these teens. He dreamed up an extraordinary adventure that's now been chronicled in the documentary BLINDSIGHT. Mark Mullen will have this story tonight.