Steve Welker Chandler Lions Club, Arizona Twenty-three years ago, Lion Steve Welker and his wife, Dr. Kristina Welker, were driving to visit the surrogate mother who was carrying their twin boys when they were hit head on by a man who had gone into a diabetic coma while driving. Kristina suffered multiple serious injuries. Steve was left blind. Two weeks later, their sons, Colton and Dylan, were born. Now, Steve Welker, 60, shares his story of facing life’s challenges in the hardest of times. He is the author of “The World at My Fingertips” and co-authored “Radical Resiliency” with his wife, a doctor of psychology. A motivational speaker, Welker is on the board of the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a spokesperson for the United Way and an avid supporter of Guide Dogs For The Desert. Why did you become a Lion? After the accident I went to the Arizona Center for the Blind for rehab to learn daily living skills and computer training, and I realized that it was founded by a Lions club. I suddenly had all these connections to Lions, but I was not a Lion. What do you like most about Lions? The camaraderie. I love doing all the activities Lions are involved in. And it’s awesome that I’m able to be in the group that supports what’s important to me, and so many causes I’m so very fond of. You say that when people accept their limitations they uncover an ability to overcome great odds. How were you able to do that? Three things: Positive attitude, setting goals and accomplishing them and a strong support group. Positive attitude is not something you’re born with, but you can build that. I had to build one out of desperate need. I had to set goals. And I have an amazing wife who stayed with me. She had her own serious injuries, and I was in a coma. She did not marry a blind man, but she was on board from the beginning. And I have amazing boys. And I have Lions who have helped me figure things out. And you have Orbit, your “above-standard poodle?” Yes. He’s awesome. I got him on April 30, 2014, 20 years to the day I lost my sight. How can seeing people best help people who are blind? Ask. You write that there are things you would love to do, but you have to accept that you simply can’t do them. Such as? Look into my wife’s eyes. See my sons. I have missed every stage of their life, visually. Is it difficult to relive your story, telling it each time you give a presentation? No. It’s just a story, and it ends on a happy note. There’s nothing special about me. I went through this, and look what I was able to do. And you can do it too. I like this quote from Helen Keller: “‘I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.’“ That’s something Lions have done for me. They’ve been my friend.
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