Gary Sasser says he loves to spend his days reading, exercising, cooking, and playing the piano -- all without being able to see at thing.
"I don't want people to see me as the poor blind guy," said Sasser.
Sasser has been blind his whole life, but says he doesn't let it get in the way of having a fulfilling one. He currently lives by himself in a small Grand Junction apartment, and he's proud to tell people he does.
"I only have help two and a half hours, three days a week," said Sasser. "The rest of the time, if I don't do it, it don't get done."
Sasser says he keeps busy working at the Center for Independent Living, volunteering at nursing homes, and participating in his church's choir -- all of them places where gets to do what he says he loves most.
"I just like music," said Sasser.
When he was a little kid, Sasser says he remembers coming across a piano at the home of one of his relatives. He recalls touching "little things" that moved up and down.
"When I got to investigate a little more, I found out these little things made noise," said Sasser.
He says after that, there was no turning back.
"I started making noise with it until somebody said play pretty," said Sasser. "After a little bit of experimentation, I found I could play pretty."
Now, Sasser spends his time writing songs and performing them at group events, nursing homes, and anywhere else people will listen. It's a passion he says has helped him connect with people and has helped people see passed his condition.
"One of my goals has been integration," said Sasser. "I think I've done that."