Bradford and Bryan Manning are men of vision. The two brothers were diagnosed with an eye disease during childhood, Stargardt's, that has gradually caused them both to lose their vision. Rather than have it hold them back, it has become the essential fuel driving them forward.
Powered by their mission to raise awareness and help other victims, the Manning brothers relied on their strongest sense, touch. They decided to develop Two Blind Brothers, a clothing company with a purpose, to cure blindness. The brothers turned designers also incorporate braille within their designs to represent their struggle with the disease.
“We use a lot of this in our brand because it really symbolizes the way Bryan and I grew up reading,” Bradford said.
Although they embarked on this venture 9 months ago, Two Blind Brothers has already garnered the endorsements of celebrity activists Sir Richard Branson and Ellen DeGeneres.
“There are amazingly intelligent people who are so driven to cure these diseases, it just takes funding to get them through these trials to get us these cures. That’s why we donate 100 percent of our profits to these pre-clinical trials, call me optimistic but there’s a cure in there,” Bryan said.
Although these two brothers guided each other through their long battle with their disease, they cite their parents as their greatest influences who cemented in them their unyielding faith in hope.
“Our mom and dad were absolutely incredible, they were more than happy to let us fail and be there to help us back up to go do something else,” Bryan said.
To all the disillusioned victims of disease around the world, the Manning brothers strive to redefine what it means to be normal and start a community for people to look up to. Their eyesight may be impaired, but these brothers field of vision is quite extraordinary.
Visit Foundation Fighting Blindness at blindness.org for more on the fight to cure blindness.