Real-Life Daredevils: These Amazing Blind Men Have Superpowers


And they can definitely give Matt Murdock a run for his money



Marvel fans will know who Matt Murdock is. He’s one hell of a defense attorney and he also happens to be the man underneath the mask of the crime-fighting superhero Daredevil. He’s also blind, but whatever. That’s secondary to all that he has done and all that he can do.


We’ve seen him come to life in the pages of our favorite comic books, as Ben Affleck on the silver screen in 2003 and, just recently, on our laptops and TV sets in the 2015 Netflix series Daredevil.


After two seasons, a third is slated for release next year. But until then, let’s take a look at these real-life daredevils who, like Matt Murdock, seem to have superpowers of their own.


1. Michael “Mike” Barredo

Photo via YouTube


In 1979, Mike Barredo got into a car accident that left him visually impaired. But that didn’t stop him from being awesome and from becoming a champion for the disabled sector.


Mike was a board member for the National Council for the Welfare of Disabled Persons during the Corazon Aquino administration and founded the Philippine Sports Association for the Differently Abled in the Ramos regime. He was also a commissioner for the Philippine Sports Commission and was once the president of International Blind Sports Federation, but you know, no biggie.


Mike Barredo is an author, businessman, politician and radio host, on top of being a husband and a father. There’s also all the awards he’s received, here and abroad. If that’s not super, we don’t know what is.


2. Chris Downey

Photo via YouTube


In San Francisco, California another extraordinary Daredevil walks among us. His name, Chris Downey.


In 2008, after more than a decade and a half’s worth of dedicating his life to architecture and merely a few months in on starting a job at a firm in San Francisco, he noticed something wrong with his vision. Apparently, a tumor had wrapped itself around his optic nerve. Surgery saved him from further complications but Chris had to say goodbye to his eyesight. With that, you’d think he’d have to say goodbye to his career, too. But like any good superhero, Chris didn’t give up on his calling. His unique perspective has given him insight into multisensory spaces.


Chris says his loss of sight has allowed him to understand space in a way that he never did prior to his surgery. Kind of like Matt Murdock, right? Now, he is not just an architect, he’s also a planner, consultant, teacher, motivational speaker and is part of the Board of Directors for the nonprofit organization Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco.


3. Esref Armagan

Photo via YouTube


Esref, born in Istanbul in 1953, had two hands, two feet, a complete set of fingers and toes, and two eyes, one the size of a lentil, and another completely non-functional. At the age of eight, he could draw a picture of a butterfly using colored pencils. By the age of 18, he had moved on to different kinds of paint. Creating pictures, without necessarily being able to see them, had become a passion for him. He hasn’t stopped since.


Esref’s works have also caught the attention of the entire world, being featured in countless magazines and television shows, including the Discovery Channel’s The Real Superhumans. His talent has piqued the interest of Volvo who, just a few years back, commissioned him to paint for them for a commercial.


How does he do it? Harvard tried looking into and explaining the genius behind his works when they invited Esref for a number of tests in 2004. But even they didn’t know what to make of the results. We’re convinced though that he’s secretly part of the X-men.


4. Erik Weihenmayer

Photo via Instagram


Erik Weihenmayer has climbed the Seven Summits, the highest points on each continent.


Erik has been blind since he was 13 as a consequence of retinoschisis. If you’re this far in the list, you know that’s not a problem for these supermen.


As a teenager, he had developed a liking for rock-climbing. This is what would later let him climb the top of Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America. Little did he know then that this would just be the first of many climbs that would span thirteen years.

Having quite literally reached new heights, Erik added author and motivational speaker to his resumé. He has also jumpstarted No Barriers, an international movement assisting people with challenges to live their lives to the fullest. Impressed? So are we.