Losing my Eye Allowed me to See the True Meaning of Gratitude

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Losing an eye

Twelve weeks ago I was walking through Gastown on Halloween night, when nearby a firecracker launched and exploded in my left eye.

Me eye was surgically removed quickly thereafter. Obviously the emotional and physical pains were prominent, but the immediate response from family, friends and strangers alike, propelled me into a perspective of positivity and appreciation. In this technological age, it is rare to experience community in such an impactful way.  Our community has been absolutely paramount to my continued recovery.

Truth be told, I almost felt guilty as one singular entity receiving so much love and affection. I woke one morning at 5am restless, antsy with a strong dose of cabin fever and decided I wanted to push forward the amazing love I had been receiving.

Through research I found Seva Canada, a local Vancouver organization, which provides education, medical aid, blindness prevention and sight restoration in developing countries. We are so privileged in Canada to have access to medicare and post surgical programs and counseling.

Seva Canada provides aid to those individuals without these opportunities, but more importantly it allows those in need to care for themselves and their families, find employment, go to school, contribute to their own community and not only improve their quality of life, but enable them to have one. It simply costs $50 for each cataract surgery to restore one’s sight.

Let that sink in for a minute.

That is three drinks at the Fairmont Pacific Rim or lunch for two at Cactus Club or one fork at Williams Sonoma. Am I trying to make you feel bad? Do I want you to hear Sarah McLachlan’s voice and think of puppy mills? No. I am inspired, and want to share this incredible feeling with you.

People often ask “why aren’t you angry? How are you not upset?”  I am. Indeed I am, and have my moments. We all hear the old adage ‘happiness is a choice,’ we see the Instagram quotes packaged in some hipster font, but do we truly believe those words, live those words? Or have they become victim of over saturation and desensitization?

I can tell you those words were my saviour alongside the support of so many. Happiness is a choice, and I refuse to let this situation alter me for the worse, as I now know the true meaning of gratitude.

On Friday, January 31 The Kim Family Foundation presents Spectacle: A gala evening at The Vancouver Club with all the evening’s proceeds being presented to Seva Canada. I am overjoyed to announce that we are officially sold out, but for those of you who would still like to contribute you may donate directly to Seva on our website www.spectaclevancouver.com.

Thank you so very much to you, our community for your continued kindness and motivation.

Written by Lesley Kim.

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