GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A man living in Kalamazoo is one of three Michigan residents recognized for achieving excellence and not letting his disability slow him down.

On Thursday morning, Scott Lacey received the BOOM Athlete of the Year award.

He was born with a congenital brain disorder that requires a shunt. The shunt failed eight years ago while he was attending Grand Valley State University.

Then, Lacey lost his vision.

However, he didn’t lose sight of what he could still do.

Lacey became a triathlete and passionate marathon runner.

He ran the Fifth Third Riverbank Run multiple times and also competed in the Boston Marathon.

“Losing my sight was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Lacey said. “A lot of people kind of look at my sideways but I didn’t do any of this with my sight. I’ve accomplished more without it than I did with it.”

Lacey said he suffered anxiety after losing his sight.

Competing in marathons and triathlons helped bring his life back into focus.

“Disability or not, it takes hard work,” Lacey said. “You have to be willing to put in the time and you have to maybe problem solve a little bit more.”

Lacey was given the award in front of hundreds of people during a ceremony at the 2017 re:con convention.