Legally Blind Cheerleader Says Nothing Won't Hold Her Back - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Legally Blind Cheerleader Says Nothing Won't Hold Her Back

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A Clemson, South Carolina cheerleader has one disadvantage but it's not holding her back.

Cheering at Clemson football and basketball games, navigating Clemson's campus, Erica Powell chats with friend's walks to class and catches the bus.

But you won't see her texting and walking, like many classmates, big font because she's legally blind.

Erica's sorority sister, and roommate's Hailey Wilson says aside from raised stickers on kitchen cabinets and the fact that she, and other friends drive her around.

"Everything's still so normal. It's not really like it's a constant reminder that she has this visual impairment, she still does everything that we do," Wilson said.

Erica was diagnosed with retinal blastoma at just six months old. After treatments and surgeries until she was six or seven, she's cancer free. But her vision was impacted by the radiation.

"I've never known 100% perfect vision is but it has gotten worse over the years," Powell said.

She got her license at 16, but had to turn it over at 18. Even now, she goes to her doctors in Atlanta for eye injections, each month.

She sees colors, and light and shape but, she says -everything is always blurry she can't make out details, which is frustrating.

"Especially the social aspect of it, like walking by someone that could be my mother or my best friend and not being able to recognize them," Powell said.

Erica says she knows voices very well, but when she's flipping, throwing her teammates, and staying in step , she says sees it very blurred.

"We do a lot of spinning and catching feet and that kind of stuff, and she does it just like everyone else."

"She never asks for any special treatment.. you wouldn't even know as a coach, she never complains, she works really hard," Brian Drummond, her cheerleading teammate Brian Drummond said.

Her coach and teammates say she's an inspiration.

"I don't feel any different, I try not to see myself as different than any other college student," Powell said.

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