Blind Triplet with Suicidal Thoughts Finds Hope Through Adoption by Blind Man

Nick, Leo, and Steven were born with retinopathy of prematurity, which causes blindness in preterm babies. Before meeting Ollie Cantos, their sponsor, in a church in 2010, their future seemed bleak.

Cantos, who has the same disability as the triplets, took them in after learning from a friend that they had never met another blind person.

In 2014, Leo shared with StoryCorps that before Cantos took them in, he and his siblings had a regular routine of waking up, going to school, coming home, and “staying there for the rest of the day.” He recalls longing to play outside in the snow with the other children.

Nick said, “It was getting so horrible that I wanted to die. But that was one of the decisions I’m glad I didn’t make because it would have prevented me from experiencing everything.”

In 2016, Steven stated to People that if his father was not present, he would either join a gang or commit suicide.

Cantos sensed the boys—now 24—were intended to be his children and began the legal adoption process as soon as he met them.

The triplets have discovered a great role model in their philanthropist, who was the first person with a visual impairment and a blind person elected to the West Covina, California, city council. The lawyer, who formerly worked for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., prioritized training his sons to be self-sufficient and content.

Under his supervision, the triplets met the same stringent requirements as everyone else to become Eagle Scouts at the age of sixteen. Steven’s volunteer efforts for low-income pupils resulted in adequate materials for 130 children, as reported by local media ARLNow. Nick collected hygiene products for a group that helps abused women and families, while Leo organized a blood donation that “literally saved hundreds of lives,” according to Ollie.

After their astounding successes, the triplets spent time at The Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, Massachusetts, where they improved their skills in cooking, housekeeping, time management, technology, independent cane travel, and exploring.

Leo is set to graduate from the University of Virginia, while Nick and Steven will graduate from Southern Virginia University. Despite the distance, Ollie is proud of the young guys for pursuing their goals.

Cantos, 53, told People, “I can’t believe how far we’ve come.” Knowing where they were going and where they are now makes me so thankful that we are a family.”

“Having them as sons and seeing how they thrive and make their own way in the world is incredibly heartwarming. “It means I was able to help prepare them for adulthood and leadership,” he said.

Cantos voiced his excitement about his boys beginning their own families in the coming years, as well as his wish to be a grandfather to their future children.

He put up a GoFundMe campaign to support the triplets as they grow older. This includes helping them pay off their outstanding college loans, upgrading their technology as they begin their businesses, and traveling when they are invited to deliver talks to charity groups.

Overall, Cantos expects challenges along the way, but he believes that these experiences should be welcomed as a family.

“Even when there are setbacks, I say, ‘I’m here for you. We’ve got everything together. We’ve always been together. “We got this.”

“I’m just grateful to have them as sons because my life wouldn’t be as rich without them. “Nothing will break us apart,” he stated.

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