GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - David Lancaster was a chef with the MGM company for 19 years. His career was on an upward trajectory, but one morning, all of that changed.
“On April 25th of 2016, I was having severe stomach pains and went to a local hospital. I was diagnosed with meningitis. I literally stroked out on the operating table, behind my eyes, causing me to lose my eyesight," said Lancaster, Founder of Never Lose Sight.
Lancaster said that the humbling experience brought out a response in him that he didn’t expect.
“I’m gonna tell you something, it happened. That’s when I made lemonade out of the lemons that I was served. I like to make people laugh, so I said we make it taste like diabetes as sweet as it can be," Lancaster said.
His positive outlook on life is what helped Lancaster decide to create his organization, Never Lose Sight.
“Everybody said you’re gonna get depressed about it. I never got depressed. I got determined. That’s why I started Never Lose Sight to help the people that can’t afford some of the items that we need like iPhones, Alexas, anything to keep technology rolling forward is what seeing impaired and blind people need," said Lancaster.
Charles Raimey lost his sight ten years ago. He was living in Manhattan at the time and moved back home to South Mississippi. He was looking for a support group when he found Never Lose Sight through a WLOX story, and it changed his life.
“He brought me into the organization and introduced me to people that I socialize with today," said Raimey. “We are able to reach out and help other people that are experiencing what I’m experiencing, blindness and in need of training and technology and also transportation, which is on top of the list."
Through Never Lose Sight, Raimey was introduced to a program with Coast Transit Authority that trains him to use public transportation to get to the Blind Rehabilitation Center (BRC) at the VA.
Once he is completely trained and comfortable with catching the bus by himself, he plans to volunteer at the BRC and help those in his condition have a better quality of life. For that, he is eternally grateful to Never Lose Sight.
“I can’t even tell you what they have done for me in terms of helping me mentally, psychologically and spiritually get to the point where I am now," Raimey told WLOX.
That renewed sense of self, encouraged by Lancaster’s organization, makes Never Lose Sight South Mississippi Strong.
“But the most wonderful thing to me was, I’ve become humble as a person. It’s no more aggressiveness. You become humble. So, that’s the greatest thing," Lancaster said.
If you are someone who is visually impaired and would like more information on Never Lose Sight or if you are someone who would like to volunteer with the organization, visit their Facebook page to contact them.