Yes, You Can!!!

The story of Mikko Mayedo of Ontario, California – Champion Over Adversity – is an incredible story of ‘Yes, You Can…” , story of ‘will’ that granted her the power to win against all oddities, finally to become a ‘champion of the world’. Mikko Mayedo was a world‑renowned Olympic Equestri­an Champion from the United States who achieved her feat despite being completely blind. As her narration continues, she ends up with her telling tale of  finding her God within. She claims, Even in blindness, I know that God has come, narrating how she found the Avatar Of the Age ‘within!!!’

(Mikko Mayeda – “Champion Over Adversity” – even though afflicted with MS and blind, she won 18 first place and 6 second of 24 equestrian entries from 1983 to 1987, and became an Olympic and International Champion.)

It took becoming blind for me to really see. I am twenty‑nine years old, and I have been seriously ill with multiple sclerosis since age fifteen. At the onset of my illness it was misdiagnosed as “chemically induced depression and loss of co‑ordination”. Neurological changes caused my healthy and extremely athletic body to slowly deteriorate.

Fatigue made it impossible for me to maintain over‑achiever’s straight A‑plus status in the gifted advanced placement classes at school. For six years my illness was diagnosed as a “hysterical, psychotic, depressive disorder.” My legs became sluggish, my grades dropped, and the fear within me grew to terror. The psychiat­rists methodically quizzed me on whether I felt like committing suicide. After six weeks of such questioning, I began des­cribing to the doctor how I wanted to do it. Then, at age sixteen, I was commit­ted to an adolescent psychiatric institute for nine months.

The psychiatrists told me there was only God for people who were weak and could not believe in themselves. After they taught me all about suicide, I took three massive overdoses which left me breathless and comatose.

After awakening from the coma, I should have felt blessed to feel the sun­shine and to be alive; however, I did not. But I still had some of my sight then, and a constant curiosity about the world.

My curiosity has often made me wonder: What did my little brother grow up to look like? How old, or young, did my mom look when she died four years ago? Is my dad’s bald spot bigger? Do I look my age? Are my eves the same color, or are they glassy, lifeless, and dull?

The darkness inhibits my sense of this fast‑changing world. At times the frustration brings tears to eyes that don’t see but can still cry.

My condition worsened after a head-on crash on my moped, in which I impact­ed my head at 30 mph into a telephone pole. My jaw and the bones of my face were crushed. A massive reconstructive surgery was done, and the optic nerve deterioration was clearly seen in my eyes. The damage was severe and irreversible. Labour Day 1980, the day of my accident, was the last time I drove a motor vehicle. I was twenty years old. Again I was diagnosed, this time accurately, as having multiple sclerosis. M. S. meant to me, “no treatment, no cure.” I lost the rest of my sight. I succumbed to a wheelchair. I was forced to quit Cal Poly University. I became bedridden, blind, mentally and physically beaten. I entered a nursing home, ready to die… that was January, 1983.

How the change came

However, there was a change—I am now a world‑renowned Olympic Equestri­an Champion. My will gave me the power to win against all odds. No, there was another will within me, not Darwin’s evo­lution, but my love for my parents and family. The will to live came back when my mom said she loved me, so it was all right for me to “go”. My will was to help the mentally ill at that institution where I had been labelled “hysterical”, and to defend the other kids there who could not defend themselves. I desired to show the world a heart, a love that never quits striving to honor those I love, especially my little brother, who came in­to my ICU room when I was full of tubes to keep me alive.

I am still blind, but only through my blindness do I see. Could God have given it to me as a gift? I began training on horseback from a wheelchair. My trainer used an intricate language of verbal cues over a walkie‑talkie to guide me around an otherwise darkened arena.

The blind equestrian

I am the only blind rider on the U S. circuit. My glorified walkie‑talkie com­munication and the story of having been bedridden have filled the hearts of millions who have read my story in publications throughout the world. I trained for three years straight in exercise, visual imagery, and riding meditation.

My motto in the speeches I have made is, “A silver medalist takes the weekends off, I wanted to go for the gold.” I wrote my life story by dictation. I can write only with special writing gui­des for the blind. But is this the ego speaking? How do I enter an arena and flawlessly maneuver my horse around many obstacles, weaving around poles, through L‑shapes, and over as many as three jumps in a row‑almost three feet high‑without seeing them? Over the hurdles I have no fear, but how? I am so blessed to have had everything taken away and replaced with love. I see with my heart—and need not fear the threaten­ing wooden bar of the jump before me—­for I am blind and cannot see death. Even my mother’s lonely stare—as life left her body four years ago—was not painful, for my eyes can only remember life. My wheelchair is a friend that, intermittently, gives me rest. My eyes still see me runn­ing. When I could run, did I ever thank God for that graceful speed? No, be­cause I was sightless and crippled in other ways. Could I have ever imagined my miserable life to be a God‑planned gift?

The power of love

On the days of my gold medal victor­ies—as the press swarmed around me pushing their microphones close, and cameras whirred and clicked—they asked, “How do you win among all the sighted competitors?” My reply was, “Love and the memories of those who loved me when I was less than nothing.” “But how do you win every single time? You’ve won 18 state, national, and inter­national championships blind?” I re­plied, “Justice, love, and God when com­bined with blindness, helps one to see the light.”

With sight I saw only darkness. God guides us as a traffic sign which says, “wrong way.” But are we grateful that the sign is warning us of impending danger? No, instead we curse our lousy luck, meeting a turn we didn’t expect. Pain is a gift God uses to test our limits.

Visions of Baba

My mother’s death brought about a quantum leap in my spiritual growth. I began to see visions down a tunnel of light as answers to prayers. My mom’s spirit and many others appeared in coloured robes‑ with one man who was promi­nent in those visions. He was clothed in an orange robe and had Negroid features. Again and again, visions turned into future truths, and the man in the orange robe seemed to direct the visions. Could there be a physical spirit‑world as the Bible says, a kind of, “Heaven on Earth?” My heightened excitement made me want to run and shout! I’ve found the truth, but who are these spirits I see so clearly without sight?

Several family friends had returned from India after witnessing a man who performed great miracles before their eyes. I listened to them, but was still sceptical. I considered taking a trip to India to be in His presence, to “witness” this holy man. But I can’t witness any­thing. I will never see for myself if it is true that He is God. Angry, I saw an­other vision, reminding me in moving pic­ture form of a premonition that led to the healing of a tumour in my jaw. The strange man with the frizzy, black hair was directing the entire show. Dejected, I looked and studied Him closely. He was as clear to my unseeing eyes as though He was really there. He was short with an orange silk robe, bare feet, kind brown eyes, and dark skin.

“God has come”

Still frustrated—that I could never see the holy man in India whom my friend had visited—I called my friend. I thought at least she could describe the miracles, and if could imagine Him. She said: “He is an Avatar, an incarnation of God in human form. He can do anything and knows all. He can heal from within.” Feeling more blind than ever, I imagined a tall, turbaned figure. I asked, “What does He look like?” My friend said, “He is short, dark, with frizzy hair, Neg­roid features, loving brown eyes, wears an orange robe, and He goes around in His bare feet!”

Aghast and a little ashamed, I knew immediately that I never needed to go to India to witness this Holy Man. Nor did I need eyesight to see His miracles. Even in blindness, I know that God has come!!!

II Samasta Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II