Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 15th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> The Fully Blind Adventurer—Australian Mr. Gerrard Gosens
Blindness is Love, Challenge the Extremes
       Success is a Journey, Not a Destination--Mr. Gerrard Gosens

      Current Australia Day Ambassador and “Vision Australia” Special Projects Manager Mr. Gerrard Gosens is congenitally blind. He was the head of his class in the Journalism Program at the Queensland University of Technology, and has been the regional manager of the Queensland Guide Dog Association, executive officer of the Queensland Paralympics Committee, Vice President of the Royal Blind Foundation of Queensland, and special projects manager for Vision Australia. He has dedicated his life to raising public awareness and philanthropy, and to challenging life’s extremes. In addition to racing as the Australian representative in the Athletics World Championships and Paralympics, and fundraising more than 2,000,000 Australian dollars in funds and service for the 120,000 blind people in Australia, Gerrard has participated in marathons and surfing events, took part in the show “Dancing with the Stars,” flew 1600 miles, and reached the third camp of Mt. Everest, which stands at 7300 m high. His accomplishments have inspired Australians in all walks of life to participate in public benefit activities, to encourage the handicapped people of the world to stand up and live their lives, to spread the word that love knows no obstacles, and God helps those who help themselves. Gerrard has been the recipient of the “Young Australian of the Year” award, and the Rotary Shine-on Special Honors Award.

The 2000 kilometer fundraising running trip
      Gerrard was born in 1970 in Queensland, Australia, although his parents were both expert pilots with full sight, God played a joke on him when he was born with a genetic mutation illness that cost him his sight. 
      Nevertheless, Gerrard fully inherited his parents’ legacy of never giving up and being adventurous, and followed their steps up mountains, into seas and even into the skies. 
      Slowly, Gerrard began to run his way to school everyday. When he was sixteen, he became the youngest guide dog assisted person in Australia. He was equipped with a notebook computer with voice-over function to assist him in his studies, received excellent grades during high school, and was one of the top picks in his admission into and top graduates of the Queensland University of Technology. Aside from his academic achievements, Gerrard is unsurpassed in his sports abilities and accomplishments. 
      From the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics to the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, Gerrard has always been the most outstanding Paralympics contender for Australia. He has set and broke the record for marathon races in Australia numerous times, and has received awards for his feats at the Paralympics games. 
      Gerrard has made every Australia proud of who and what he is, and the reason is because Gerrard overcomes all obstacles and accepts all challenges on the belief that love knows no blindness. He has participated in the 2000 kilometer Charity Run from Cairns to Brisbane five times, making charity runs immensely popular in Australia and around the world, including on our island of Taiwan.

1600 kilometer Charity Flight
      Gerrard raised over 2 million AUD worth in services and funds for the 120000 blind people in Australia, but what Australians were most excited over was him flying, as a fully blind person, 1600 kilometers around Queensland, with the purpose of fundraising for the blind. He safely landed at the Gold Coast Airport, and set a Guinness record for flying fully blind.
      For Gerrard, flying an airplane was nothing out of the ordinary—except, when he participates in these public benefit events, he sees nothing but what exists in his own mind—he sees only love and the warmth it can bring. It is this that propels him to continuously make efforts in raising awareness, respect, and assistance for the disadvantaged.
      Gerrard always encourages others by saying, “Every one of us have some sort of obstacle to overcome, instead of letting them getting in the way, we should learn to take advantage of any opportunities we come across.”

Challenging Mt. Everest
      Gerrard has never his blindness get in the way, and he is a perfect example for his daughter Taylor, who is also fully blind. 
      Like many little girls, Taylor worships her father, and is a true daughter to Gerrard. Aside from being also fully blind, Taylor inherited her father’s adventurousness and courage, as well as his loving heart. 
      Gerrard surfs, runs marathons, flies airplanes, joined the Paralympics team three times, and has received numerous awards and commendations.
      He even went on to attempt at challenging Mt. Everest and was almost frozen to death, but he is determined that one day he will finally succeed.

However, in October of 1997, the day Taylor was born, all his worst dreams came true when he realized that Taylor had severe problems with her sight, and that was the day the loving father almost fell apart.
      “Neither us nor the doctors knew the possibilities of blindness being hereditary,” Gerrard said, “Our son Jordan was born with full sight and is perfectly normal now.” When Taylor was born, the doctors thought she was completely healthy too, “but when I reached out to touch her, she grabbed one of my fingers and drew it near her. My heart stopped and I felt dizzy, I couldn’t see her, but I knew immediately that something was wrong with her eyes. Afterwards, the doctors confirmed my fears, and I had to hold on to the bed rail to keep myself from falling.”
      Taylor did not only inherit blindness from her father Gerrard, but also his perseverance and determination. Gerrard has a special bond with his daughter, “I want to let her know, and all the young people around the world, that no matter what, people will overcome their hardships and attain their dreams.”
      “For my daughter Taylor and the many young people that are faced with challenges, know that you will be able to overcome, and realize your ultimate dreams. I have not only participated in “Dancing with the Stars,” I’ve gone on extreme challenges, climbed Mt. Everest, and even though I haven’t made it to the summit yet, after the Mt. Everest base camp training sessions I went through in 2003 and 2004, I went back to Everest and have already passed the third camp, which is based at 7300 m. I plan to take on Mt. Everest for the seventh time in 2013, and become the first fully blind mountaineer to conquer Mt. Everest.”
      Taylor thinks the greatest thing about her father is his spirit of adventure. Taylor told the journalist conducting the interview, “I think it’s truly awesome that my father thinks nothing’s impossible in the world and always acts on his beliefs, I will always look up to him.”