The moment Joshua Cook arrived at CNIB Lake Joe, he knew it was the beginning of a beautiful, lifelong bond.
"Before I went to camp, I felt isolated. I was the only person I knew with a visual impairment," says Joshua. "I wanted to be around other people with sight loss. Lake Joe really put things into perspective for me."
Diagnosed with Stargardt disease as a child, Joshua began to learn how to sail through the Camp Abilities program at CNIB Lake Joe in 2012. Six years later, he represented Canada at the World Blind Sailing Championships in Scotland.
"If I hadn't been introduced to sailing at Lake Joe, I never would have learned those skills or gained the confidence I have," says Joshua.
In 2017, Joshua wanted to give back to the people who shaped his life – he officially became a CNIB Lake Joe counsellor.
"I wouldn't be the man I am today, if it weren't for Lake Joe," says Joshua. "I want to show young campers what it's like to live with sight loss. Camp life is for everyone!"
His experience has been rewarding and empowering.
"I'm surprised every day. It's inspiring to see what people can achieve with limited vision," says Joshua. "Blindness is a gift, not a curse. There are so many things you can do! Don't put limitations on yourself."