A ‘Tail’ of Two Patients


Zachary and Rosalie © Photo Courtesy of Seva Canada

By Deanne Berman and Paul Crosby

In 2016, four-year-old Zachary in Nova Scotia set an ambitious goal to raise $15,000 to fund 100 surgeries for kids in low-income countries. He embarked on his fundraising campaign after being diagnosed and treated for cataracts earlier that year. Grateful for receiving high-quality care in Canada, Zachary wanted to pay it forward. He began his fundraising by setting aside some of his chore money in a jar labelled for “the kids that can’t get cataract surgery” and initially raised $150 to restore the sight of one child. With help from his family, including his younger sister Rosalie, he quickly ramped up his fundraising efforts by hosting by-donation adult and children’s yoga classes, donating proceeds from the sale of Arbonne children’s sunscreen, and holding a BBQ and car wash. By late 2019, Zachary was halfway to reaching his fundraising goal!

Around the same time in Ontario, a dog named Leroy was slowly going blind and badly needed cataract surgery. “I didn’t even know animals could have this surgery. We are so lucky in Canada that we have so many people that can help us. Our family was so excited and thankful that our dog could see again that we thought it would be a great idea to give the same opportunity to children,” said Carolynn, Leroy’s human guardian. Carolynn began researching sight organizations and charities that restored the sight of children that she and her family could support.

Zachary © Photo Courtesy of SEVA Canada
Caroylnn © Photo Courtesy of SEVA Canada

Through her research, she learned about Seva Canada and Zachary’s missions. She was so motivated by Zachary’s story that she generously donated the remaining half of Zachary’s goal, enough to help him reach his target of restoring the sight of 100 kids in need!

“I saw your story and how you were so thankful and wanted to help other children too. You inspired me to act on this. I thought if a little boy can do this much, I want to help you too. It feels good to help others!! Keep reaching out and find others that need your help, and continue to make the world a better place,” wrote Carolynn to Zachary.

Colleen, Zachary’s mom, was at work when she found out about Carolynn’s gift. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. To be honest, at first I thought there must be some mistake. Once I confirmed the donation was real, I was beyond grateful and shocked that a stranger would donate so much on Zachary’s behalf!” said Colleen.

Zachary and Rosalie were also ecstatic. According to Colleen, “they were so excited and couldn’t believe it! Zachary was very aware of how much the donation meant, he was surprised and happy one person could donate so much. Zachary and Rosalie were so happy their goal of helping 100 children came true. They both responded with WOW! It was amazing for him and Rosie to see what one idea and many small actions can lead to. I’m forever grateful to Carolynn for helping me teach my children to dream big, set big goals, and go after them, because one small idea can lead to amazing possibilities.”

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Seva Canada is a charity whose mission is to restore sight and prevent blindness in low- and middle-income countries.


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