The Blind Boxer: Eddie Ellis
A Story Of Perseverance
He played football back in high school and decided he wanted to go right into training to be a boxer.
Through his training in Ybor City in Tampa, Florida he ended up going statewide to many different tournaments.
He eventually found himself at the Golden Gloves where he met Muhammad Ali (and where he was first introduced to Cuban food, which is a very important detail).
Eddie also was able to meet Gayle Sierens, a recent retiree of News Channel 8, who was the ring girl at the time.
Eddie also held a remarkable record of 25-4-1, very impressive.
After his pro-boxing days, he still kept in very good condition throughout his life and proceeded to train in his boxing ring in the backyard.
His daughters still recall their dad boxing with his high school friends out back.
In 1999, Eddie developed cancer, which in 2004 grew to become Stage 4.
Despite this, Eddie still ran marathons (12 to be exact) with his oncologist, who was an ironman.
He ran New York City three times, Chicago, Big Sur, Phoenix Rock And Roll, and Marine Corps, just to name a few.
In 2008, the real turning point in his life hit.
He was a state plumbing contractor at the time, still undergoing chemo.
One day, he had a picc line pulled which shot a blood clot to his heart.
This put Eddie into a coma for 17 days, where he suffered multiple strokes to his optic nerve.
Once Eddie awoke, he was blind.
The doctors told Eddie’s wife that if Eddie came out of the coma, he would be in a vegetative state, but they were wrong.
The entire time he was in the coma, his wife kept telling him “you’re my braveheart” and he woke up remembering her saying this.
True to his character, Eddie continued to persevere despite the hardship and become as strong as ever.
Eddie went through rehab and began running again with his pastor.
They developed ways to make it easier and safer for him to continue training.
They used the band from men’s old underwear to tether him to his running partner to keep him running straight.
Eddie also designed a bar to go behind his wife’s bicycle that he could grip so that he could run behind her as well.
Eddie continues to box and train to this day.
He is truly an inspiring human being and we should all learn from him.
He has shown what is possible through commitment, endurance, and through his faith.
There is not much that cannot be accomplished despite the hardships in life.
Make no excuses, keep your head up, and soldier on.