BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You


Even After His Death, This Incredible Blind Teenager Continues To Inspire People

Ben Underwood was completely blind from the age of 3, but taught himself to use echolocation to live a full and active life. Five years after his tragic death from cancer at the age of 16, his story has once again gone viral.

Posted on September 5, 2014, at 7:54 a.m. ET

Ben Underwood lost both of his eyes to cancer when he was 3 years old. And yet, as a teenager, he could do this. / Via

He got around without a cane or a guide dog, using only his extraordinary hearing. / Via

Underwood used echolocation to see. He would make a sharp clicking noise with his tongue, and could tell from the echo where he was, and even what objects were around him.

His little brother didn't even know he was blind at first. / Via

It didn't make much of a difference, after all.

So his parents just treated him like any other kid. / Via

A pretty amazing kid, that is. / Via

Underwood didn't think of himself as different.

Screenocean / Via

Tragically, the cancer that took his eyesight returned when he was 16, and he passed away.

Underwood's mother shared an inspiring letter to people around the world who were touched by his story. She said: "I pray that each one of us [has] truly taken a piece of this experience, in knowing Ben, and [used] it to become better human beings to one another."

Watch his story here.

View this video on YouTube

Screenocean / Via