Anthony Ferraro, 28, of Spring Lake, was born blind, but growing up, he was told repeatedly that he could do whatever he wanted in life. When wife Kelly, 35, gave birth to the couple’s first child just a few months ago, Ferraro was determined to learn to bond with his daughter like any other parent would, including the ritual of reading bedtime stories.
Thanks to a special machine that adds a Braille overlay to a regular book, he is able to do just that. “The only disability in life is a bad attitude,” said Ferraro, a content creator and motivational speaker. “I’ve always told myself that no matter what happens, I won’t let my blindness get in the way of my ability to be the best father I can be,” he added, noting that he “will never let excuses get in the way of things,” he tells the website New York Post.
Although challenging, the experience has been incredible. “Being a father has been amazing, the whole journey. Being a blind father and finding ways to bond with my daughter is not so obvious,” she confessed. “But if I can read Braille, I can interact normally. I feel like it’s a really important moment of connection between us, and I feel really grateful to be able to have that with her.”
For years, he practiced judo – including at international level – and even trained for the Paralympic Games, before an injury took him out of the race, at least for now. And while his gold medal dreams may be on hold, in the meantime, he’s a big fan of life as a dad. “I always told myself, no matter what happens, I want to be a father and have a family,” he said.
Ferraro also mastered the art of changing diapers. “There’s not much to do, you should just have a few ‘extra wipes’ to make sure you’ve cleaned everything,” he says. Now, he’s planning for when his daughter takes her first steps. She wants her to wear bells on her ankles so he can always find her. “I have blind friends who are afraid to have children if their child is blind. But I have always told myself that this is no reason not to have children. Anything can happen to any child, but if my child goes blind, who would it be? a better teacher for him than me?”, he concludes.