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Scout Who’s Blind Reaching for Eagle, Amidst Family Struggle

Nathanael sits with his mother Yvonne and sister Corina. Behind the family are photos of Nathanael's older brother who died in 2001. (Photo: David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)
Nathanael sits with his mother Yvonne and sister Corina. Behind the family are photos of Nathanael’s older brother Brendan who died in 2001. (Photo: David Leaming/Morning Sentinel)

There’s nothing typical about a 14-year-old who’s almost reached the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank. That’s young to be nearing the requirements for earning Eagle Scout. For a Scout who’s blind and has faced as much adversity as Nathanael B., striving for Eagle at such a young age seems impossible.

But don’t discount Nathanael.

Like his mom and sister, Nathanael has neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to grow throughout his body. The disease claimed his mother’s leg and Nathanael’s sight.

Years earlier, Nathanael’s older brother was killed when a truck hit him while he was riding his bike, training for a ride to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation and a friend with a terminal illness.

Despite the flecks of tragedy in his life, Nathanael remains inspired.

His school’s band director Loren Fields told Portland Press Herald, “His consistent and positive can-do, upbeat attitude is at the forefront of his life and is infectious to those around him. The lad is truly an inspiration.”

That’s right, his band director sings Nathanael’s praises. It’s hard not to be amazed by a boy who is blind and loves to play the trumpet.

His Eagle Scout service project isn’t typical either. Nathanael’s organizing a musical tribute featuring professional and amateur musicians for residents of the Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta, ME.

Learn how he hopes the project will bring recognition to his troop and how the BSA is taking notice of Nathanael on the Portland Press Herald.

Gina

This blog is managed and written by staff of the Communications Department of the Boy Scouts of America.