A new Toyota Super Bowl ad featuring a pair of Paralympic cross-country skiers shows just how far hard work, and a little brotherly love, can get you.
The 60-second commercial follows the relationship of Canadian Paralympians Brian and Robin McKeever after Brian lost his eyesight to Stargardt macular degeneration when he was 19.
Despite his condition, Brian McKeever became Canada’s most decorated Winter Paralympian. With Robin serving as guide, the two competed in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Paralympic Winter Games. Brian McKeever, who now has a new guide, has won 17 Paralympic medals.
On TODAY Wednesday, Brian said he was inspired to work with Toyota after he saw an ad they did with Paralympic skier Lauren Woolstencroft, an eight-time gold medalist who was born missing both legs below her knee, as well as part of her left arm.
"She had a commercial spot as well four years ago, and it was so touching. So when we thought about that, it was just exciting," he said. "And I called Robin and said, 'Hey, we have this opportunity,' and he jumped on. We got to do it."
Once he saw his own ad, the 42-year-old said he knew he'd made the right decision. He noted that it was "really humbling" to see his journey told on the screen. And the reaction that he's been getting online has been amazing.
"I've seen a few interesting random posts, just people reaching out saying you know, I have Stargardt's as well," he said.
"They're touched by it and they're excited to see some representation within the Para community, in the blind community and I think that's really important to have."
In a statement through Toyota, Brian McKeever said he hoped his story "inspires viewers to start their impossible."
“I’ve learned firsthand that anything is possible with perseverance, and the support of a brother, like Robin," he said.