Feel Good

Despite Fading Vision, This Marathoner Can See Clearly

While driving to Chandler on a hot Jul. 4 afternoon in 2011, Daniel Nevarez noticed the road was disappearing.

I closed my eyes and noticed that it was completely green and light gray in my right eye, and I couldn’t see anything. So I pulled over and called my wife. He said, “It was scary.”

Upon seeing the doctor, Nevarez, 41, learned he had suffered a retinal detachment, which occurs when the front of the eye separates from the back. He had two surgeries in 15 days. Permanent vision loss resulted from both treatments.


Nevarez suffered from myopic degeneration of his left eye. The disease damages the retina. It took Nevarez three years of the illness to progress, and he became legally blind. He could see shadows of people and objects but not details.

Nora, who works for the Foundation for Blind Children in Phoenix and lost her left eye as a child to retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer, offered him support. He found inspiration in the running, an activity not typically associated with people with visual impairments.

The Year 2019 Looked Promising

A highly competitive runner in high school, Nevarez was born in Los Angeles and raised in Rio Rico, a small town south of Tucson. His passion for movies began as a child and grew throughout his life.

It was too expensive for him to attend film school. After earning a degree in English from Arizona State University in 2005, Nevarez worked for his sister’s janitorial company as a director of operations.

He didn’t realize his love for movies until he lost vision in his right eye in 2011. Over the next eight years, he worked his way up at Harkins Theatres.


Nevarez Regains His Focus By Running

He picked up a hobby as a means of coping through one of his classes at the foundation. Nevarez said, “I was at one of the classes focusing on what to do, and I was like, well, I used to run.”

He ran around his north Phoenix neighborhood with a friend during his free time. In addition, Nora would map out routes around their area for him.

Nyc Marathon 2022: ‘Excited To Take Part

A few weeks before they run through all five boroughs of New York City on Nov. 6, Nevarez and Fischer will taper their mileage.

Nevarez will bring his wife and two children to the city. Nevarez and his family have set up a GoFundMe page to raise $5,000 for travel, food, and lodging. Nevarez has raised over $4,530 so far.

Nevarez has never been to New York. Despite not seeing it, he expressed hope, excitement, and new goals.