Randy's story

Randy Pierce has taken an active role in the direction of his life and ensuring it is one full of adventure. Randy's youth in rural New Hampshire provided ample opportunity to explore, try new things, and meet a broad spectrum of people. He stayed in NH for college and got his degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. A passionate New England Patriots fan, Randy also enjoys playing virtually all sports, medieval re-enactment, Karate, darts, bardic arts, and of course, hiking.

In 1989, at the age of 22, Randy began to lose his vision due to an unknown neurological disorder, and by the year 2000 Randy lost all sight. He knew he was in for change and challenge, but he did not fully appreciate then what true adventures were in store for him with the introduction to Ostend, his Guide Dog. Ostend was a tremendous Guide and the talented Golden Retriever cleared the way for a far better world. Ostend certainly magnified Randy's belief that he defined the limits of his own life.

With Ostend, Randy's lifelong passion for New England Patriots football came full circle when he was named 2001 Fan of the Year. If you are from New England you will understand that the Patriots take care of their own, especially their fans. Randy quickly found himself caught up in a whirlwind media tour that involved multiple National TV appearances, local news reports, special features on TV and Radio, and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles. The NFL placed him in their Pro-Football Hall of Fame, and he was invited to meet with the President George W. Bush along with the entire Super Bowl Champion Patriot team. His Patriotic celebrity led to an HBO feature on his life and fandom which was nominated for a Sports Emmy Award in 2008. His companion and Guide was with him every step of the way, often stealing the spotlight.

In 2003 Randy faced more challenges where his positive approaches to adversity were key to survival. The unknown neurological disorder which ended Randy's vision attacked in other ways, resulting in Randy's move to a wheelchair. In another tragic turn, Ostend's life was cut short by cancer. Heartbroken, Randy honors the memory of his partner with a memorial in his garden and the life he now leads with his new Guide, the Mighty Quinn. Read Quinn's story

Ultimately, Randy spent 2004-2006 working to get out of that chair. This tested his perseverance and motivation most of all. Quinn was specially chosen and trained to handle the mobility aids Randy needed at that time. It was a slow process but, again, through constant determination and the support of friends, a network of professionals, and of course Quinn, Randy again enjoys his daily walks and runs with Quinn.

In appreciation of his good fortune in having the support and tools to manage and flourish in his life, Randy found his latest passion of hiking to become a catalyst for founding the 2020 Vision Quest in which he hopes gather a variety of inspirations from others to share with the world. Randy is tremendously thankful the Teva Life Agent Award will help support the opportunity of reaching more people with the positive impact of this new undertaking and particularly with the momentous task of reaching the Summit of Mount Washington!