Wisconsin Lutheran College admin reveals battle with glaucoma

Leading by example can be one of the most effective styles of teaching, especially in a college setting.

A local man sees his opportunity to do just that, even if those around him aren't even aware of the example he is setting.

"I try to live life and not let people know that I do live with a challenge," said Heinzen.

Adam Heinzen is the Sports Information Director at Wisconsin Luthern College, his alma mater.

That means he is essentially responsible for the presentation of Warriors athletics - what to know about the players and coaches, what the game day experience looks and sounds like, in-person and online, what the score is, what the players and coaches think of the outcome, and what's next on the schedule.

(FOX6 News Milwaukee)

"I really don't think there is anything I can't overcome because of the challenges I do face," said Heinzen.

At a school the size of Wisconsin Lutheran, there's a lot of working together and leaning on each other.

The athletic department itself is similar to a team, with roles to play for everyone. It's a family.

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Heinzen counts on his work family and is forever appreciative of his real-life loved ones.

"Huge," Heinzen said. "Family is important and I wouldn't be where I am without them."

Exactly where is Heinzen? He has a seat at the table to do what he absolutely loves, living his passion for athletics with a selfless approach. Even if he can't really see how all his work comes together.

"I am glad I am able to open up about this," said Heinzen. "This is the first time I have kind of told this publicly. I was diagnosed with childhood glaucoma, which basically means that the drainage system in my eyes did not develop as it should. So like I can't read jersey numbers usually on the court. Obviously getting to an away venue, that's a challenge that I have to overcome. With me not being able to drive there myself. Once you lose sight with glaucoma, you never get it back. It's not like I can go have Lasik and see 20/20 the next day, that's not how this works. I know things aren't going to get better, but for me, stability is a huge word."

Perhaps the greatest testament to Heinzen is that most Warriors and fans have no idea of his personal challenge. 

"Athletes overcome adversity," Heinzen said. "I'm not an athlete, but having been around athletes and having seen what I have seen over the course of my career here, I don't want to give up and I want to keep fighting and I want to win. I want to win the game. I want to win the race in my battle."

Heinzen maintains hope of receiving an eye transplant to improve his sight, but that is not a viable option in the near future.

In the meantime, he vows to remain positive in his attitude and encouraging in his approach to student-athletes and others at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

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