Blind Triplets Reaching New Heights

Like all of us, blind triplets Leo, Nick, and Steven have big dreams for the future. They imagine inspiring literally millions of people to strive even harder to reach their greatest potential as they work in like manner to do the very same.

But, it was not always this way. In fact, these Colombia-born boys, who came to the United States when they were just 3 years old, still faced an uncertain future as their
daily lives most typically consisted of staying at home and not having the same kinds of childhood experiences that all too many of us take for granted. Magnified by their biological father returning to Colombia during their preschool years and never ultimately seeing them again, the boys felt that they had a big void in their lives, one that they came to believe would never be filled. Going to the park, hanging out with friends, attending birthday parties of classmates, regularly heading outside to play, spending family time around the community on weekends, attending sporting events or playing integrated sports, trick-or-treating with buddies around the neighborhood, and doing other things that kids got to do. By and large, not only were these experiences sorely lacking in their lives but, more alarmingly, difficulties associated with being bullied at school, combined with the sheer absence of meaningful social interactions with peers, eventually took their toll quite significantly.

By the time the boys were in Fifth Grade, hope of ever seeing their biological father again had all but dissipated. Their mother had a hard time caring for them, and their maternal grandmother spent full time tending to their needs as best as she could. Difficult times were faced in those early years, and the absence of high expectations of them as blind kids resulted in the three not having gained age-appropriate skills. Other than going to school, participating in a monthly Braille Book Club, going to an annual summer day camp for blind children lasting for a week, and attending church services on Sundays, the treo hardly ever went outside for more than seven years. Tellingly, by one point, even at the tender age of 10, Nick even wanted to kill himself due to having no real hope left.

And then came into their lives Ollie Cantos, who himself is also blind. Since May 2010, his top priority has been to foster a new and exciting environment of high expectations, great opportunities for each of the boys to thrive in ways they never fathomed possible, and ever-expanding chances to give to the world and to serve others ably, faithfully, and well. To realize these worthy goals, Ollie is rallying together a cadre of stalwart supporters to continue to envelope and encircle the boys with an infusion of belief in their abilities and their inherent potential, Ollie not only mentored them but has since taken on the role of Dad.

The boys are now Young men,  are  21  years old,  and are in college.    In spite of the devastating and sudden loss of their maternal grandmother, who passed away in August 2015, they carry forward, holding in their hearts the love she always gave them. By this point in their  young lives, they have spoken thus far to audiences totaling more than 2,000, serve in different youth leadership capacities in church, have raised money to help kids from low-income families get books and other school supplies, have helped collect canned goods for the homeless, have actively supported people with other types of disabilities including physical and intellectual disabilities, have been nvolved in athletics like Wrestling and Crew, are active with other extracurricular activities, and have earned the prestigious and coveted rank of Eagle Scout within Boy Scouts of America. Most importantly, they are outspoken proponents of adoption, believing wholeheartedly that the ties that truly bind families together need not necessarily be based on biology. (See http://www.npr.org/2014/02/21/280277459/the-lives-of-blind-brothers-changed-when-dad-came-knocking.)

As far as Leo, Nick, and Steven have come thus far, they each dream of so much more! Leo aspires to become fluent in Japanese and to dedicate his life as a attorney to facilitate technological innovations that result in greater accessibility for fellow persons with disabilities. Nick is eager to build upon his entrepreneurial spirit by becoming successful in business and supporting economic empowerment of disadvantaged populations. Steven wants to serve as an attorney in the arena of intellectual property. They also have a lot of dreams of what they would love to do for fun if ever they got the chance: Being among the first to utilize driverless cars; taking a cruise; flying in a helicopter; job shadowing a millionaire or billionaire; traveling on a private corporate jet; becoming friends with celebrities from their favorite movies and TV shows; taking a trip to Microsoft Corporation to see the latest technological innovations; embarking on an extended vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando; and meeting Tony Robbins, Burt Goldman, Rhonda Byrne, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and the President.

You can be right alongside them as you personally become a recognized and important part of their ongoing transformation. They fervently imagine a world, rich with promise and possibility. They see themselves increasing their collective power to make a real and lasting difference in people's lives, especially among those who are going through what they have been through and who are still searching for hope that they can live lives of greatness!

Ollie, Leo, Nick, and Steven believe wholeheartedly in the kind of personal exceptionalism that lies within us all, waiting to shine through.

You can support the boys taking their lives to a whole new level by joining an army of well-wishers who see in them the very real ability to help change the world!

Present and pending needs include:
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- Travel to share messages of leadership with ever-broadening audiences.

- Blindness-related assistive technology hardware and software to optimize competitiveness and increase independence.

- Refinement of their skills through purchase of tools, training, and other materials to continue expediting personal growth as they gear their minds and attitudes to success at higher and higher levels.

- Covering other initiatives that will enable them to live life just as fully as other young and promising adults  their age who do not have disabilities and to give them the kind of jump start  that will catapult them into the stratosphere of achievement in spite of their early years of great adversity.

- Creation of  a book and/or audio or video series geared toward family life lessons and personal development.

All those who contribute to this fund will receive exclusive special updates on the boys' lives that are to be posted nowhere else. In addition, benefactors who envision nurturing the boys within specific areas or in creative ways will get to collaborate on new and exciting possibilities, seeing even more directly how their support has an impact on their lives.

Your generous heartfelt contributions of $60, $120, $480, or whatever amount at any level would be most gratefully appreciated. Like ripples in a pond following the casting of a single pebble, so will be the magnitude of your kind acts of support. Whether on a one-time, periodic, or ongoing basis, help build a lasting legacy that will endure. Make your difference today!
  • Vivian Bass 
    • $200 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Anna Gerts 
    • $100 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $36 
    • 10 mos
See all

Organizer

Ollie Cantos 
Organizer
Arlington, VA

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