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May 14, 2013 > A winning sense of touch

A winning sense of touch

By Suzanne Ortt, Photo by Madhu Sardana

Rishan Sardana, a first grade student at Delaine Eastin Elementary School in Union City captured third place in a national Braille Challenge held at the California School for the Blind in Fremont. Surprised by his success, Rishan said highlights of the day were more focused on the perks of the competition - pizza lunch, an opportunity to play the piano and petting guide dogs.

Born with normal vision, Rishan lost almost all sight at age four from a tumor due to a rare cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. Following months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Rishan continues to be cancer free. At school, in addition to his regular school class schedule, Rishan attends a Braille class to learn reading and use of a Braille typewriter. He participates in mainstream class activities and is responsible for homework with the help of a CCTV (Closed Circuit Television).

At home Rishan lives with his parents, Dinesh and Madhu and two older brothers, Rishab, 13, and Rithik, 12. "Rishan's life itself is filled with ups and downs but he is not a complainer," says his mother. "He is happy, busy, and courageous."

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