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Blind Iowa teen checks skydiving off bucketlist

Blind Skydiving.JPG
Danny Grimes (red) and Skydive Iowa instructor Brent Romberg begin their descent from 10,000 feet (photo courtesy of Skydive Iowa).

Many Americans have a fear of heights.

Danny Grimes, a junior at Iowa City West High School, isn't one of them.

Grimes turned 18 in April, and one of his birthday wishes -- going skydiving -- is now a reality.

Grimes, who is blind, is putting together a bucket list of sorts in the hopes of inspiring others with vision impairments to pursue their dreams.

Jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet is one of the more adventurous feats on Grimes' list, but he explains, the daring dive symbolizes more.

"It's not about skydiving," said Grimes. "[People with vision impairments] just need to know that they can do anything. That nothing can stop them."

Grimes, who has previously worked with a team of students with vision impairments to build a robot, also wishes to educate sighted people.

"With your support, we can do anything we set our mind on," said Grimes.

Next on his bucket list, Grimes is planning to return to his native land of Ethiopia for two months to work with people with disabilities, with the goal of helping remove education barriers.