He rides the wave with only 5% of his vision. This is how Alberto sees. Despite being born with visual disability, Alberto Frances's amazing surfing feats has shocked the surfing world. His determination and unbeatable spirits has proved that "Disability is not an obstacle to success." But things were not smooth sailing for him from the start.
When Alberto was only 9 months old, he contracted an aggressive eye disease. A lifesaving operation has to be performed, but he was however left with 5% of his vision permanently.
"When the doctor told that my baby would lost his vision, I was in denial and devastated. I couldn't bear to imagine the kind of life he might have if he goes blind. But when I look at his innocent smile, the thought has been disappear. Though the path was rough, it has been filled with a lot of joy for both of us." - Janet Valenti, Alberto's mother
Hoping to give Alberto a normal childhood experience, Janet sent him to a normal school. However, school life would proof to be far more challenging for him. Alberto was constantly being picked on and outcasted due to his disabilities.
The experience left him resentful over the school and other students. Not long after, Alberto was diagnose with ADHD, unable to sit stills and not paying attention during the class.
"Alberto had a lot of meltdown. He had a hard time with his learning and even unwilling to cooperate with the teacher. This has negatively impacted the whole class. We would always consider sending him to a special school. "
-Ms Camila, Alberto's teacher
However, Janet refused to give up on her son. She tried everything from signing him up for an expensive behavior therapy program. To hiring learning specialists, and speech therapy. But none of it worked. The only comfort he would have was being with his mother at the beach. Since Janet was a surfing coach, her work at the sea inspired Alberto to get in the water.
"The sound of waves would calm his mind and make him smile, which he hardly do anywhere else. So I decided to teach him surfing hoping it might help bring joy and serenity to his mind." - Janet
As time went on, Alberto's surfing feats began to emerge. He able to judge the waves by ears while maintaining incredible balance.
"I didn't know surfing was possible for Alberto until I witnessed what he did. I knew then, he will make something extraordinary out of it." - Janet
As Alberto grew older, his surfing feats advanced even further. Alberto first showcase his amazing surfing skills by joining the school's youth surfing competition. Shocking the judges and receiving warming cheers from the crowd.
At only 17, Alberto won local title for "Best Adaptive Surfer".
"People always reacted in disbelief when they found out I was blind, assuming it might just be a lie that I make up to gain attention. I'll always tell them: while you have your vision to help guide you through life. I have to master my other senses just to navigate through the tides. " - Alberto
By traveling around the world taking part in adaptive surfing championships, conquering waves and gaining national fame. This news caught the attention of Spain's renowned neuroscientist Professor Dr. Elena Jurado. She was intrigued by how Alberto could make it this far despite his compromised disability.
So she dropped by Alberti's house for an interview. Dr. Elena was astonished to find the real culprit. The scent of Cedarwood was all around the house!
Alberto explained he picked up the habits of lighting up fragrance candle from her mother since young. Smelling the scent allowed him to sit still and stay focus when her mother helped him to study.
"The faint fragrance from the candle is pleasant and mind refreshing."
So from that day on, candles were often lit around Alberto's home.
"Cedarwood is known for its rich hue and warm, wood scent, which has been characterized as warm, comforting, and sedative thus naturally promoting stress relief. The Cedarwood oil's invigorating quality is known to improve cerebral activity. "
"While its calming property is known to relax the body and the combination of these properties helps to enhance concentration while decreasing hyperactivity Just image that you're standing in a grove of cedar trees. How can you not feel peaceful when you sniff this scent. "- Dr. Elena
Realizing its potential to help struggling people to gain a sharp mind and focus. Dr. Elena started working with his team to develop an enhance solution. Using the steam distillation method.
Dr. Elena managed to extract the Cedarwood oil into its purest form. Creating an amplified formula that is 10 times more effective than the original. He call it Natche™.
"Scent is the most effective way to stimulate the brain. A typical scent triggers up to 187 olfactory receptors. True enough, Natche™'s unique scent can trigger up to 565 olfactory receptors. What's more, it has the ability to reach the brain within 22 seconds! Imagine bypassing a congested road. Natche™ can help create efficient traffic in the frontal lobes. Leading to improved memory, problem solving and mental clarity." - Dr. Elena
Alberto was quickly put on a clinical trial with Natche™. Amazingly, Dr. Elena found that just a week of exposure to Natche™, increased Alberto's brain performance by 5%.
"Scientists have always believed that our brain ability is determine by age 5. But our clinical trial with Natche™ has brought a startling new understanding. With intensive olfactory stimulation, it is possible to boost brain performance at all ages. "
Alberto's surfing journey continued to amaze everyone. And even inspiring many to participate in surfing while embracing their disabilities.
"Surfing and Natche™ have brought me hope and I want to share it with the world. I hope my story will help those who are needed. " - Alberto
Thanks to Natche™
Alberto went against all odds and achieved great height in his life.
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