Family with Blind Triplets Seeks Assistance

Ceila Gracia Pacheco, a young mother of triplets, recognized a long time ago that two of her sons, Esteban and Leonardo, might never see. But still she prays and desperately looks for help to pay for surgery that could bring sight to of one of them ?Nicol?s. "Doctors told me that Nicolas has a chance to see, but the problems is that we can?t affort to pay for the surgery," said Ceila, 24, who had the triplets six years ago. "I just ask God to give me back the sight of one of them so this one can guide the other two," said the Colombian mother who lives with her mother Margenia Pacheco, the triplets and an older son, Antonio, 8, in an apartment in Arlington. Both women work fulltime in Virginia, the grandmother during the day and the mother at night, so they can take turns caring for the triplets, who attend a regular public school in Arlington. The three boys were born premature, via cesarean section when they were six months old, otherwise they might not have lived. According to medical records, they developed retinitis because they did not have enough strength to gain normal vision. They are now considered legally blind, although it seems that they can detect some "lights and shadows," said their grandmother. The family attends the Spanish Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington. Recently, the family attended the Hispanic Catholic Family Picnic. With the help of some friends, the family hopes to open a non-profit bank account to begin raising money for the surgery, which will cost between $15,000 and $18,000. Doctor David Warner from Georgetown University Hospital said that the hospital is substantially reducing the cost based on humanitarian reasons. Where to Send Donations? Those who want to help the Hispanic family whose triplets are blind (one boy can recover his sight by surgery), please send donations to: FIDMI / Triplets Fund, 3108 Mount Pleasant St., N.W., Third Floor, Washington, DC 20010 FIDMI is a non-profit group that will operate as the fiscal agent for all donations made to pay for the surgery. The triplets live with their mother and grandmother in Arlington. For more information call at (202) 483-8900.

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2005