On the latest episode of the hit Israeli TV cooking competition ‘MasterChef’, a contestant who went blind as a result of a terrorist attack managed to bring the normally stoic and sometimes intimidating panel of judges to tears. Meet Perry Shapiro, Israel’s fast rising reality star.
In 2003, Shapiro was seriously injured when a bus that had pulled up beside her car was blown up by Palestinian Arab terrorists, killing 17 people and injuring dozens more, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.
“Before the attack I was a very busy woman, with never a minute to spare. I had earned a PhD in Political Science and Criminology,” says Shapiro, calmly retelling her story to Channel 2. “Suddenly, you have nothing. The second I understood I was bind, I wanted to stop living.”
Yet, after five long years spent in a serious depression, Perry decided to stop letting her blindness stop her from living. Slowly, Perry began to return to the activities she had taken part in with zest before she was maimed. In fact, she not only resumed her life but actually began exploring new pastimes. Besides cooking, Perry soon began taking up new hobbies, such as painting and sculpting.
“5 years ago I finally woke up. I said to myself, ‘I have kids, I have an amazing husband (of 44 years) and I want to live,’” she said. After years of emotional darkness, Perry returned to her first love: cooking.
“Technically speaking, how can a blind person cook?” was the simple, pointed question posed to Perry by one of MasterChef’s celebrity panelists, Israeli culinary maven Haim Cohen. Perry’s response shed light on how the severely visually impaired can not only survive in society, but thrive: “I put everything on the table in a particular order. I smell everything,” she explained as she demonstrated her cooking technique.
As cited by Channel 2, Perry went on to say that, “I do everything. I’m not afraid. I will no longer give up on the things I want to do. I want to cook. I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. I simply want to do things like everyone else… and quickly. ”
Will Perry pass the difficult audition process? Tune in Saturday at 9:00 pm (IST) for the answer.
No matter what the outcome of the show, Perry will have already proven to the judges in the studio and to men and women across Israel that there is no stronger force on earth than sheer will power.