Jay Blake, Founder and President of Follow A Dream, is the only totally blind crew chief in all of auto racing worldwide.
While working as the head mechanic of a transportation company in May 1997, Jay was involved in an industrial accident that cost him his vision and his sense of taste and smell and forced him, at age 31, to relearn how to live. Refusing to give up on life, he aggressively participated in rehabilitation, first at Massachusetts General Hospital, then through an intensive program at The Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Mass.
Jay quickly discovered that even without his sight, he was still able to do what he loved most – work on racing engines – and with renewed self-determination, he began to follow his dream of owning a professional auto racing team. His positive attitude in the aftermath of the accident had people requesting that he speak of his experiences and his philosophy, and the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response at initial presentations convinced him to form the Follow A Dream organization in 1999.
Follow A Dream has grown to become a forum for Jay to share his true-life success and inspire those with and without disabilities to accomplish their goals through the power of positive thinking and self-determination. Today, along with performing the majority of mechanical work as crew chief of Follow A Dream’s 260-mph Alcohol Funny Car, Jay is responsible for the organization’s management, operations, and community-outreach programs.
Follow A Dream reaches an estimated 500,000 annually as Jay speaks around the country at schools, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and business and civic gatherings, sharing his experiences and his accomplishments overcoming his disabilities.