I lost my eyesight when I was 19 years old, due to a rare disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa; I was young and had two children. After a while I gained weight and was 300 lbs. with a heart murmur. My doctor said, “Vivian, you lose the weight and your heart will be fine” so I tried running a marathon, it was too hard on my knees. I always loved the sound of running water, but was terrified of it, but was not going to give into fear, when I started swim lessons I clung to the side of the pool for dear life. My instructor used to yell “Vivian get away from that wall or your never learn how to swim.
The first time I dove into the pool I can’t begin to tell you how good I felt, I had conquered my fear. Today I’m a Senior Olympian I’ve lost the weight, my heart is fine...When people see me now, they see my handicap and say if she can do it, then perhaps I can do it too. You should never let life’s little challenges stop you from being all you can be.
Vivian Stancil worked for many years to better herself and those around her. Despite being blind, she became an
Olympic Swimmer, and continues to swim to this day. Vivian is a champion, an advocate, and a community leader who believes that the recipe for success is equal parts faith and dedication.
Our organization worked with Riverside's very own Cutter Pool to teach over 300 local children proper swimming techniques and safety. If you or a loved one are Â interested in attending next year, sign up forms are available in the right section of the site. We hope to see you there!