Dean Dunbar: The Blind Adrenalist
Imagine riding on the wings of a plane, or jumping off a cliff, or swimming the English Channel. Do you feel a bit of uneasiness in the pit of your stomach? A seed of doubt as to whether your body and mind will be able to withstand the extreme stress associated with activities meant for only the most daring among us? Do you think that seed would grow into a full blown forest of fear if you found out you had to perform each of these feats without your eyesight? Last, would you do it anyway? For blind daredevil, Dean Dunbar, the answer to all of the above is, surprisingly, a resounding “yes.”
Dunbar, diagnosed with rod and cone dystrophy at a young age, fully lost his sight in 1996, two years before he did a tandem skydive for charity and realized his true calling as an adrenalist. Since that fateful jump, Dunbar has completed an impressive list of harrowing stunts and has become the first blind person in the world to bungee jump from a helicopter, complete Scotland’s land and sea-based Hebridean Challenge and white-water sledge the River Tay.
More amazing than any of Dunbar’s individual feats is his courage to chase his passion, no matter the unique limitations and dangers that face a man in his position.
“Sometimes I do get really scared,” he tells STV News. “I know the risks before I set off, though, and I don’t regret anything I’ve done.”