For the Chiefs October 21, 2018, game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC) and the Chiefs selected Cameron Black, a project lead at Alphapointe and author of "The Blind Quarterback" blog, as the Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion. Prior to kickoff, Black received on-field recognition and conducted the ceremonial first pass to Trent Bryant before touring the Chiefs broadcast booth and enjoying the game.
"Being recognized as a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion is a dream come true," said Black. "I keep telling people that when I thought of attending my first Chiefs game, I always thought I would be in the stands, not on the field throwing the first pass. It is a huge opportunity and something I will never forget."
Blind since birth, Black paid little attention to televised football until he and his wife, Katherine, relocated to Kansas City. Concerned about making friends in his new city, Black began to learn about football—specifically the Chiefs—as a way of connecting with his local community and others at his new workplace: Kansas City-based organization Alphapointe, the largest employer of people who are blind and the region's leading provider of vision rehabilitation, education and advocacy to anyone experiencing vision loss.
To help him understand the game, Black turned to two knowledgeable sources, his dad and the voice of the Chiefs, Mitch Holthus.
Black, who listens to Chiefs broadcasts said, "Mitch's vast knowledge and amazing descriptions of the game have unlocked a passion in me that I didn't know I had, and I can't imagine having any other broadcaster to help me follow my team."
Through his role as a call center manager for Alphapointe, Black currently helps fulfill the mission of "empowering people with vision loss to achieve their goals and aspirations."
"It is hard to sum up the daily rewards of working for Alphapointe in one single event, as every day I observe those with blindness or visual impairments be empowered to do so many amazing things," said Black. "That in itself is the reward I get when I come to work."
The topic of vision-impairment is one that is particularly important to Black, not only because of his own condition, but because he knows the true capabilities of others like him.
"They are people just like everyone else," said Black, specifically citing his Alphapointe coworkers. "They might have visual impairments, but they also have jobs, families, spouses, children, hobbies and passions. Sometimes, the blind or disabled are dismissed as a class or group of people, and it is forgotten that we have families we want to take care of, people we love and sports teams that we root hard for. And it's important to me that people outside of Alphapointe realize that."
"Cameron is living proof that with hard work and determination we are capable of achieving great things," said Christina Lively, Blue KC's Department Vice President of Marketing and Communications. "Not only is Cameron sharing his love for football through his blog, he also is serving as an inspiration to others in our community. We are honored to recognize Cameron as a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion."
To nominate a local hero like Cameron Black to be recognized as a Blue KC Chiefs Kingdom Champion, visit chiefs.com/bluekc.