Along with people in about 75 other countries around the world, Canadians celebrate Father’s Day in June. It’s an opportunity to honour the man who likely is – or was – a huge influence on your life.
I wish everyone could have a supportive and caring father like mine. My dad gave the biggest and best hugs; he was a great storyteller and a terrible tease; and he always, always believed I could do anything I set my mind to do. Fathers can be your very best advocates and allies!
Speaking of advocates, let me tell you about another caring father I met in Kenya. Paul Nakach is a day labourer who lives in the town of Kakamega, 100 km southwest of Eldoret.
I met him when he brought his four-year old son, Evans, to one of Operation Eyesight’s partner hospitals, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret. (Read more about my visit to the hospital here.)
Paul told me that when Evans was two, he was diagnosed with cancer in his left eye. Paul saved up enough money to make the trip to the hospital, where his son’s eye was removed. A difficult decision, to be sure!
The toddler continued on medication for a few months, but then had to have a second surgery because his eye socket was swollen. Further surgeries followed a few months later.
When I met the father and son, Evans was at the hospital for further assessment. Paul told me that overall, he was happy about his son’s surgeries because the cancer appeared to be gone and Evans’ vision had improved in his remaining eye.
However, since he didn’t have any money, Paul was worried about the necessity of continued surgeries. Even though he wanted to help protect his child’s health and avoid blindness, how could he afford the cost?
Imagine the look of relief on Paul’s face when the doctors assured him that Evans’ surgeries would be paid for with support from Operation Eyesight’s generous donors!
I know it meant a lot to this hardworking father to learn that his son’s vision and overall health would be looked after by others who care. I know my own father would have felt the same, if it were one of his children affected. Dads are like that!
There are people in your life that you appreciate, not only for what they do but just because of who they are. Your parents, your teachers, your closest friends… they almost always have your best interests at heart. This June, why not honour one of those people – a special dad, or a favourite teacher – with a tribute gift from Operation Eyesight?