Good People Do Good Deeds for Good Friends
TEWKSBURY -- When Brian McCauley and his mother reached out to the Lions Club for help in June, they weren’t sure what would come of it.
McCauley, a 23-year-old Tewksbury resident, was born blind. And for the past four years, he has been using a dated braille computer. But on Monday, McCauley was presented with a new computer at the Tewksbury Lions Club’s 32nd Annual Golf Tournament at the Tewksbury Country Club.
“They’re really good about getting things done. They’re very committed,” McCauley said of the Lions Club. “So, it’s nice to have a friendship with them now.”
The computer, called the BrailleSense Polaris, cost nearly $6,000 -- a price too steep for the McCauley family. When the Tewksbury Lions Club got the request for help, the organization reached out to the Massachusetts Lion District 33N Visual Aids Foundation. Joan Parcewski is a Visual Aids Foundation board member as well as a member of the Billerica Lions Club. The board voted to purchase the computer for McCauley.
“It was so heartwarming to see how much of a difference something so small can make in the life of someone and it allows him to do so much,” she said. “It’s definitely something that’s making a difference in his life and just upgrading what he already had. That’s what Lions is all about.”
At the Tewksbury event, McCauley was presented with the new technology and broke out in song, serenading those in attendance. Singing is a passion he has had for years.
The computer, manufactured by HIMS Inc., looks like a small keyboard. It can connect to the internet and with apps, something McCauley’s older model was having difficulty with. It features braille cells for McCauley to read, as well as keys so he can create his own braille. It also features a 13 mega pixel camera.
Though he’s still navigating how to use it, he recently discovered how to make a Facebook voice call using the computer.
McCauley currently attends TILL’s Billerica Rehabilitation Program. One of his goals is to get into podcasting, focusing on the subjects of rock ‘n’ roll, movies and sports. Having this computer will help him gather the information he needs to launch his show in the future.
“I love debate. I love singing, too,” he said. “I like speaking with authority and radio lets you do that, and podcasts.”
While attending the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, McCauley had his own live radio show that was streamed online.
“It’s important for people to understand that just because you have a handicap, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have the desire or the will or the ability to do so much and contribute in the world,” Parcewski said.
Tewksbury Lions Club President Jerry Selissen said it was an incredible moment and was gratifying that the Lions District 33N was able to assist McCauley.
McCauley’s mother, Nancy McCauley, said it was a smooth process and without the Lions Club, it would have been very difficult to get the newer model computer.
“When people either are born blind or lose their sight over time, it is so important for us to be able to reach out and allow them to be able to be active members of society,” Parcewski said, “and whatever we can do to do that, that’s what Lions is really about.”
Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.