Lex is the best totally blind long and triple jumper in the history of the U.S. Paralympic movement. He is the current world record holder in the long jump, a four-time Paralympic medalist, a three-time long jump world champion, and an 18-time national champion. He is the only totally blind athlete to ever eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump. If you think that any of this came easy, you should think again.
Many of his fellow eight-year-olds could be seen riding bicycles, shooting baskets, or frolicking on nearby playgrounds, but Lex was dealing with a far more challenging opponent. His sight began to slowly fade entirely due to recurrent retina detachments. Ten operations failed to stabilize what little sight he had left. After the final surgery, Lex’s mother Verdina Gillette-Simms, had the difficult task of telling her son he would likely never see again. As painful as this was, she vowed to teach Lex everything he would need to know to be successful in life. Her hard work and love were the foundation for Lex’s accomplishments.
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