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Pass It On: High school wrestler down but not out

Pass It On

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis has seen its share of wrestling through the years, most notably at the old Mid-South Coliseum. But this Pass It On centers on high school wrestling, a true test of wits and strength.

Our playmaker is Jacob Vankirk, he’s on the wrestling team at Bartlett High School. He told WREG’s Tim Simpson about a teammate named Jeremiah.

“Jeremiah, he recently lost his vision. He’s one of the most popular people, everybody knows. He’s easy going and tries to do everything for somebody. He’s leaving for Nashville School for the Blind and we wanted to do something for him. He had partial blindness his whole life, but at a wrestling tournament this last December he lost his vision.”

Jacob’s father, James, talked more about Jeremiah.

“Just a great all round kid. Great to be around. Very fond of him. He’s positive with his teammates and classmates.”

Jacob even set up a GoFundMe page to purchase a walking stick.

“It’s called a Wee Walk Stick. What it does, it connects to Google maps to help guide him around to places, so he can still get around everywhere.”

Sounds like a great time to Pass It On.

When Jeremiah arrived, Jacob didn’t waste any time.

“Hey Jeremiah. News Channel 3’s here with the Pass It On. Put your hand out.”

Jeremiah was stunned.

“It’s stayed stagnant since like elementary school. It stayed stagnant and it started getting worse this year.”

Then last month at an out of town tournament, the unthinkable happened.

“I got a little dizzy. Got a little blurry and I lost my vision.”

Blindness is a tough diagnosis, but Jeremiah said he’s determined.

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