He lost again... now brings hope

2015-06-30 06:00
Down on his luck after he lost 95% of his eyesight, Luke Edson (37) lost 25kg by dieting. He suffers from diabetes and glaucoma, but wants to participate in the Ironman South Africa triathlon next year.

Down on his luck after he lost 95% of his eyesight, Luke Edson (37) lost 25kg by dieting. He suffers from diabetes and glaucoma, but wants to participate in the Ironman South Africa triathlon next year.

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He started a small business, his life goal to help others. Something that being a snoek fisherman allowed him to be.

Luke Edson wanted to be a provider. He was 25 years old and married, had five employees and life looked promising.

Then it all took a turn for the worst.

Due to bylaws enforced by local government, Edson had to give up his fishing business. He also became very sick.

“Eventually I lost everything, my ski boat, equipment and car. We were forced to move into a room at my parents-in-law. On top of this, I got very sick and discovered that I am a diabetic. As a man this was very tough – just married about a year and due to a business that could not continue we lost a lot.

“But I always clung to the hope that God would bring across that new season. My beautiful wife and I struggled for months getting jobs,” he says.

The Strandfontein man took on odd jobs while they survived on his mother-in-law’s salary.

In 2005 he answered a job advertisement while he worked on site for a friend’s construction company.

“I remember this as if it was yesterday. The interview was in Woodstock. I entered the interview room and completed the questions, the manager then asked me a question that would change my life that day. I was raised in a Godly home with my dad a pastor of a church. I knew this was God again coming through. The manager asked me: ‘If I give you the position of a sales rep would you accept?’ He said: ‘I don’t see you as a driver’. I answered: ‘Absolutely yes, sir, and if you can train me step-by-step I will put back in 100% to increase the company’,” he says.

Life was looking up. A good salary, benefits and stability. In 2006 he and his wife welcomed a son. He was promoted and bought and renovated a new home.

But their joy was short-lived. In 2008 he was involved in a car accident on his way to work.

“I blacked out behind the wheel of my car and drove straight into a bus. This accident scared me and I woke up two minutes later. I thought I had died but God had a plan,” he says.

He had lost almost all of his sight and was medically boarded. He had only 5% sight left due to glaucoma.

“I was diabetic and very overweight. Struggling with this sudden condition, things went from bad to worse for us as a family. Bills started piling up, my car was repossessed and our beautiful home was auctioned,” he says.

He had lost everything all over again and this time his sight too.

He would lose one more time. This time it would have a much more positive end.

“God showed up and we were blessed with finances to pay our outstanding bills, which were R12 000 at the time. As time went on I kept trying to provide for my family by different means, but in 2011 my sister invited me to a Herbalife business opportunity meeting, which changed my life. In my first week I lost 5kg. Everybody started asking me what I was doing and I started sharing my results. By helping some people we made a profit of R1500 in our first three weeks of doing Herbalife,” he says.

He lost another 20kg after changing his eating habits with 80% nutrition and 20% exercise.

“I kept [the weight off] for four years and my vision has increased by 10%,” he says.

Now he is aiming to face his biggest challenge yet. Edson, now 37, hopes to enter the Iron Man South Africa triathlon competition in January next year.

“Surely if I can do this with 15% vision, other people with disabilities can also rise to the challenge. I believe God gave me a second chance to make a difference,” he says.

“This is the ultimate challenge and I know by just achieving to finish this race it will bring hope to people with my condition.”

The race begins with a 3.8km swim in cold sea water. Then participants hit the bike course for 90km. The race ends with a run.

Edson would like to be a positive rolemodel but needs help getting to the race. Entry alone costs between R2300 and R3220.

Edson is appealing to sponsors and the community to help him raise funds to cover his training fees, equipment, entry fees, his travel and accommodation.

He plans to donate additional funds raised to the Cape Town Society for the blind. He was inspired by his mother who is completely blind due to glaucoma. The society needs funding for a 1000 walking sticks at a cost of R300 each.

If you would like to help call Edson on 073 168 9529.

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