READING, Pa. –
It’s like looking through a tunnel for Nashville native Pat Yarber, as he caught glimpses of the Reading Royals hockey game Friday night. “I can see the bright white ice, see the players moving around,” Nashville native Patrick Yarber explained. “What sight I have most of the time is so blurry and fuzzy.”
Pat is legally blind, having lost about 90 percent of his sight. He has two inherited eye conditions, Retinitis Pigmentosa and Macular Degeneration. “For me it gets worse everyday,” Pat said.
Knowing he only had so much time left, Pat originally made it his goal to see every Division 1 college football team in the country. He gained national attention in 2013, appearing on ESPN’s College GameDay.
“it’s been a blast,” Pat recalled, “…from Michigan to Penn State, Florida, San Jose state, all of them are different the atmosphere.”
500 college football games and 131 stadiums later, Pat’s seen it all, and now moved on to his favorite sport, hockey. “Of course the sounds of the game are very easy for me to identify, I can hear the skates cutting into the ice, I can hear the puck hit the goal posts, the grunts,” Pat said.
While this is Patrick’s first time at a Royals Games, he’s actually been to about 80 percent of minor league hockey arenas in the country, while he still has some sight left, he hopes to see the rest of them. “I just still enjoy the challenge of going around and about to a new place,” Pat said.
There will come a day when Pat will no longer be able to see the arenas or the fields, but that day hasn’t come yet–he has a lot left to see.”I still enjoy it, meeting people, talking about hockey, college football, just a challenge, a challenge to myself to keep persevering,” Pat explained.