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Fear, fun and faith

John's talk was off to a flying start when we were invited to either laugh with him or laugh at him; what was important was that we had fun and enjoyed our evening. John was born sighted but he was always a very timid child who struggled from the start with debilitating fears of death, the dark, girls and authority figures. With little or no confidence, his turning point came when he was nine years old and was chosen to play for the school football team; at last, he had achieved something on his own merits.
At nineteen, his sight began to fail and the doctors blamed his condition on a bang to the head whilst playing football, expecting his condition to improve in time. Unfortunately however, John's failing sight was due to a rare genetic condition and he became almost totally blind as did his mother, brother and sister soon after.
John was sent for rehabilitation to learn Braille and audio typing but not wanting to be known 'as just a blind audio typist'; he attended a yearlong communications course and ultimately became an 'inspirational speaker'. In the same year, he met and married his first and only love and they went on to have four children. Sadly, his wife of nearly 58 years is now severely disabled by several strokes and dementia and John finds himself (with help) her carer. He was encouraged to attend church in his early years by one of his tutors and found strength from his new found faith to carry him through. John went on to write several books, the first of which was call 'Fear, Fun & Faith'.
John was a superb speaker, he was funny, confident, sad at times but most of all, inspirational. Having overcome his fears, he states that "fear is like reverse gear and faith, forward gear" and that "funny stories and laughter are good for people and the soul". We laughed a lot and were sad at times but most of all, we were humbled by John's great courage.
Glenfield WI's July meeting is open to all! The theme will be 'A Taste of Old Time Music Hall' to be held at St Peters Church Centre on Tuesday 18th July @ 7.30. Tickets to non members are priced at £5 (refreshments are included) and can be obtained from Lucy Hilton on (0116) 2871900.

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