214@100: Blind Elk Grove swimmer competes at the state level

Elk Grove High School student Jack Falejczyk isn't deterred by his blindness - in his just completed freshman year he won medals at the state swimming finals downstate.

The Elk Grove Village resident has Leber's congenital amaurosis, a rare genetic disorder that affects the retina. Although he is completely blind, he is a member of the school's orchestra and an accomplished swimmer.

"My personal mission statement is to not let my blindness hold me back," Jack told the Daily Herald in 2012. "If you try something, it takes time, but it comes."

As a toddler, Jack recreated songs on his keyboard after listening to them, leading him to take piano lessons. He began swimming after his older sister started taking lessons and has grown stronger through practice.

At this year's state swimming competition for athletes with disabilities, Jack placed in four events, including third in the 100 freestyle.

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