Thousands of FAMU and FSU seniors are preparing to make the leap from student to college graduate, and some have traveled a long and difficult road to get here. Among the graduates is a Florida State student defying the odds.
By the time he was 23, Dave Bigoney had gone through the Navy's boot camp, traveled the world and survived being shot in the head. Now, he's one day away from marking the ultimate milestone, graduating from college, a goal he's had his sights set on for a decade.
As a college freshman, Dave Bigoney made a trip home for the holidays, one that would forever alter the course of his life.
Dave says, "In early morning hours of December 27th my father and I were both shot in the head while sleeping."
In 1996, Dave was caught in the middle of a domestic dispute between his father and step mother that killed his father and left him completely blind. Yet the tragic turn of events didn't darken Dave's future.
Dave adds, "I don't know if I ever thought this was going to stop me."
Now, Dave is one day away from receiving his degree in information studies from Florida State University.
"Monumental achievement, went into school with sight, with a lot of help, came back to school and did what I set out to do, obtain my degree," says Dave.
Marking this milestone isn't the first achievement in Dave's life. He's also a tri-athlete, who’s completed eight triathlons, proving there is life beyond sight.
Dave is also a featured athlete in a documentary called Victory Over Darkness that details the journey of four visually impaired athletes preparing for the Ironman.
With the help of a guide Dave is training for race this September and then the mother of all triathlons, the Ironman in November in Panama City Beach.
To learn more about Dave Bigoney and his inspiring story you can log on to www.victoryoverdarkness.com