THE BLIND MAN WITH A VISION UPDATE…
Brandished a trouble maker by teachers because of his disability, Stefan Novak, originally from Lincoln had a dark childhood but has managed to find light amongst the shadows cast over him.
Stefan Novak forced himself to lead a normal life, being married, travelling around the world, running his own business and now, feeling a debt to his cause. He has engulfed himself in charity work giving awareness talks in schools businesses and social groups together with fund-raisers on behalf of Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.
Despite describing his sight as “trying to look through a blackout curtain with only a gap in the side,” he uses his imagination to visualise achieving his ambitions.
“I believe in the law of attraction, where like attracts like. By thinking positively and really visualising what I want to achieve, I can get there,” said Stefan.
Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at the age of 9 a condition that leaves the retina damaged, Stefan was from a less empathetic generation. Mocked and bullied by his peers and not understood or helped, merely tolerated by his teachers at Cherry Willingham Secondary school , he left at 16 with no qualifications. Stefan said ‘I was going blind and no-one cared’.
Nonetheless, he rose from working in retail in Lincoln in his teans, to a secretary in one of the most exclusive banks in the world based in London to running his own mail-order business.
Amongst all this, he still had time for love, meeting his wife Lynn through a late night TV magazine show called Contacts in 1989 and after getting married in Dallas Texas wearing cowboy hats and boots, his wife Lynn became a true believer encouraging him to accomplish things even he hadn’t imagined.
After running the 1993 marathon, flying on Concorde to New York and riding a mountain bike in Lady Johnson Park Austin Texas all with his wife, there was more hardship to come for Stefan.
As his wife Lynn was diagnosed with cancer and needed chemotherapy in the same month November 2004 as Stefan was diagnosed with kidney failure and needed to attend hospital 3 times a week to have dialysis to keep him alive.
Stefan had now found a new low but before she died in 2008, Lynn gave Stefan an ultimatum.
“She told me she’d be waiting for me with my first guide dog Thomas but there was a lot for me to achieve and teach others with my life experiences and to never give up…
After not only moving almost 200 miles with his guide dog to set up his new home back in Lincoln, he also received a donated kidney in November 2010, Stefan has already celebrated the first anniversary of having his life changing transplant.
His next goal is to write a book about his life, already appearing on two local radio stations and now has his own regular slot on Lincoln City Radio. “I want to write a book about my 19 wonderful years with my wife Lynn and personal experiences along the way and I am even daring to visualise myself on the red carpet at some point in the future”, said Stefan.
So with a lot of hard work and determination, it won’t be long before you can read Stefan’s story, but until then he writes a blog and includes an inspirational thought of the week, one of them being: “Life is like photography, you develop from the negatives’.