Tommy Carroll was diagnosed at birth with Bilateral Retinoblastoma, a cancer of the retinas.
In the video he explains that the cancer was caught late, he lost his first eye when he was 13 months old and his second eye after his second birthday. Since then he has had two prosthetic eyes, which he takes out to show pro skateboarder Tony Hawk.
Like any skateboarder, Carroll’s greatest joy in a skatepark comes when he has the park all to himself, allowing him to get comfortable with the park and its transitions.
In an interview with Tony Hawk in June of 2012, Carroll mentioned that he gets his grounding in a skate park by skating each section of the park individually until he is able to connect them in his mind.
In this posted video Carroll says, “What’s really fun about skateboarding, when you get something new and kinda scary, when you finally land that scary thing, and you feel that tension release, that’s one of the better feelings. One of the biggest adrenaline rushes you’ll ever experience.”
These words can be applied to many situations we all feel in our lives. After hearing those words I couldn’t help but be reminded by the bravery shown by Ava Kadishson Schieber. Like Ava, Carroll faced adversity but was not defeated by it.