2 blind women compete in Windsor Pumpkin Regatta thanks to teens
Milena Khazanavicius and Stephanie Berry switched pumpkins with a rival team after theirs got a hole
Two King's-Edgehill School students saved the day for a pair of blind women at a pumpkin regatta in Nova Scotia on Sunday by offering up their giant gourd after the women's pumpkin got a hole in it.
This was the 18th annual Windsor Pumpkin Regatta and people paddled across Lake Pesaquid in giant, hollowed-out pumpkins.
For Milena Khazanavicius, 44, competing in the event was an item to check off of her bucket list. She's been blind for about half her life and she's been coming to the regatta for around a dozen years.
'About to have a breakdown'
As Khazanavicius and Stephanie Berry's pumpkin was being lowered into the water this weekend, it took on water because it was punctured.
"I was about to have a breakdown," said Khazanavicius.
Fortunately, two students from King's-Edgehill stepped up and offered their pumpkin for the women to use.
"When they said it was these two young boys, I thought, oh my, the world is good. You should have seen my face," said Khazanavicius.
The teens still competed using the women's punctured pumpkin and had success with it.
"They took our sinking pumpkin and they paddled and were taking the water out," said Khazanavicius.
The teens, Lane Latreille and Justin Betance ending up finishing the regatta in first place.
She and Berry didn't have as much luck and finished in last place, but they still had a ball.
"We were exhausted. My legs were shaking. I don't even know how we crawled out of that pumpkin at the end," said Khazanavicius.
The two had a kayaker whose job was to guide them across the lake.
Khazanavicius says people often have misperceptions about what blind people can do. She's proud she participated in the race.
"It makes no difference what disability you have. If you want to do it, you can do it. With a little bit of help, it's achievable," said Khazanavicius.
She said the pair were the first blind people to successfully go across the lake in the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta.
With files from Carly Stagg and Rachel Ward