The Blind Team Challenge - Running the Grand Canyon

For: Blind Inst. of Technology & Foundation Fighting Blindness
Organizer: Dan Berlin
of $10,000 goal
100% Complete
Raised by 117 donors
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Read more about this major accomlishment on Charles Scott's blogand  Alison Qualter Berna's Blog

As well as some of our media coverage:

The Denver Post

The Coloradoan

Outside Online

Listen to the Radio Interviewwith Charles, Alison and Dan on KAFF

Check out the Fox News Health Article

Watch the team on Fox News

See Dan and Pete on NBC in Denver

Watch Dan on CBS Evening News

Read Alison's blog on Pre-run, and Post Run

Our story:

Imagine crossing the street with your eyes closed. Now imagine keeping them closed and running 46 miles of rocky, twisting trails across the Grand Canyon and back. On October 8, 2014, Dan Berlin, a blind runner, alongside guiding teammates Alison Qualter Berna, Brad Graff, Pete Kardasis and Charles Scott completedthe46-mile run across the Grand Canyon and back in one go. With over 25,000 feet of climbing and descending on technical trails, the day was anything but ordinary. The entire team needed to demonstrate mental and physical fortitude, putting full trust in each other to get safely from Rim to Rim to Rim. 

After losing most of his sight to cone-rod dystrophy in his early 30’s, Dan left his corporate job, moved to Colorado, co-founded a company, and became a marathoner.  A husband, father of two awesome children, and co-owner of Rodelle, an industry-leading global vanilla company, he has not let his blindness prevent him from living life to the fullest.  Dan started running five years ago, and has never run 46 miles, much less on trails across the Grand Canyon.  

Working mothers never have enough time to meet all of life’s responsibilities, much less train to run across the Grand Canyon.  Alison is a mother of three young children and a successful entrepreneur running apple seeds, a global business that is about to launch a national franchise.  Alison has never come close to running 46 miles with over 25,000 feet of elevation change.  She ran her first marathon recently, as she began to prepare for the Grand Canyon run.  She likes yoga, kids and her active social life. 

Building on an early foundation as a Naval Officer and with an MBA from Harvard Business School, Brad recently left Intel Corporation after a 17-year career.  He is seeking the next meaningful challenge of his life, and helping to guide Dan across the Grand Canyon is a great start.  An adventurer who has traveled to 66 countries, Brad loves to test limits.  Leaving a stable career is a risky decision for anyone, but opens up doors for new discoveries.

An accomplished runner, Petepreviously guided Dan in that fateful 2013 Boston Marathon where they crossed the finish line just 20 minutes before the bombs went off. Living in Colorado, Pete took to the trails several years ago.

Charles left the corporate world to work for himself and create a more meaningful life as the Family Adventure Guy.  He is a published author, noted speaker and endurance athlete who has cycled over 7,000 miles around the world with his two young children starting at age 4.  He has run many marathons, Ironman triathlons and ultra endurance races.  As the only person in the group to have run rim to rim to rim before, he is the team leader. 

In support of Dan’s mission, a second “Rim to River” team ran on the same day, from the South Rim to the Colorado River and back again.  This team included Dan’s wife Sheila Berlin, Charles’s sister Becky Sharpe, Alison’s husband Bobby Berna, friends Rachel Roberge and Steve Margetts, and the youngest member of the team, 13 year old Sho Scott, Charles’s son.

Their encouragement was invaluable, and they continue to be dedicated to this cause.

Finding a cure for retinal degenerative diseases is very personal to Dan. Along with the Rim to River support team, Dan, Alison, Brad and Charles have pledged to use their Rim to Rim to Rim trip to raise funds for The Blind Institute of Technology and The Foundation Fighting Blindess. Funds raised here will be split 50/50 between the two nonprofits. Please consider donating to show support for this difficult challenge. Thank you and happy trails! 

Blind Institute of Technology (BIT)
BIT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to prepare the visually impaired and the employers who hire them for success in the workplace.  BIT has gained tremendous momentum in its short existence and will not rest until it’s made a significant dent in the excessively high unemployment rate of educated, skilled, and qualified blind professionals. Learn more at 

Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB)
The urgent mission of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, Inc. is to drive the research that will provide preventions, treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), macular degeneration, Usher syndrome, and the entire spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases. For more information visit: 

About Retinal Degenerative Disease
Retinal degenerative diseases are groups of vision-robbing conditions that cause the progressive loss of photoreceptors, the cells in the retina that make vision possible.  These conditions affect children and adults of all backgrounds across the globe.

By the year 2020, an estimated 20 million Americans will suffer from sever vision loss or be completely blind because of one of these diseases – that is just in the US alone. But we have the opportunity to change that fact.  We are closer to a cure than ever before, with more clinical trials underway now than at any point in history and one actually restoring sight in 40 people.   

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 13, 2014

Posted on October 13, 2014

We did it! See the following links for a summary of the run on Charles Scott and Alison Qualter Berna's blogs.

Charles R. Scott, The Family Adventure Guy

Alison Qualter Berna, apple seeds

About the Organizer

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The Blind Team Challenge - Running the Grand Canyon

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