Monday, November 25, 2013

The Story of Edgardo

The story of Edgardo Lawas, Jr., a 24 year old student of MTC Academy Davao, seems to be a typical growing up story.  Edgardo as a young boy spent time to play with his cousins, enjoyed the sea, and enjoyed the farm.  His mother and father lived in Calinan but he grew up pretty close to an uncle who lived at Gulf view in Toril, Davao City.  Edgardo completed his high school education in Davao City and then went on to pursue a certificate program called Customs Management in Holy Cross of Davao College in Sta. Ana. 

            Life was a breeze and life was easy until he was 20 years old.  At 20, his failing eyesight was a puzzle to both his parents.  They didn’t know what was causing this.  They looked at both sides of their clan and found no genetic history to explain his condition.  Over the last four years since he started suffering from low vision, Edgardo had difficulty coming to terms with his condition.  He withdrew and he started asking why, why of all people did it have to happen to him but slowly Edgardo realized that there was no point in continuing to resist what was happening.  

            Slowly he emerged from his shell and started to reach out again to friends.  He found some inspiration with one of his best friends who, at a young age of 19 years old, was diagnosed with colon cancer.  He saw that his friend went through the different stages of grief, anger, and finally acceptance. However, one thing that he discovered about his friend was that his friend’s strength was coming from his very, very deep Christian beliefs.  And so, Edgardo, inspired by his best friend, who by the way now has recovered completely from colon cancer, started to get engaged in their community’s Christian services.  He found strength in being able to reach out to friends and serving his community. And so it was that Edgardo started to reengaged and found himself an opportunity through a friend, Norman Nicdao who referred him to Resources for the Blind Inc.  

            Apart from knowing peers, who are visually impaired, Edgardo also was encouraged by a neighbor who worked with the Resources for the Blind Inc.  He started going for computer eye training in this particular institution. 

            Four years down the road for having been diagnosed at age 20, Edgardo has started to pick up the pieces again.  He has started to feel hope that the future holds exciting and better things for him.  Over the last 6 to 7 months, he has been studying a skill called Medical Transcription.  Edgardo has seen other peers like him who has achieved some degree of success from acquiring the skill where he can actually become a Business Process Outsourcing professional providing data documentation and digital conversion services to clients abroad.  Edgardo, who still is currently pursuing his program at MTC Academy, is very confident that things can definitely improve and will all depend on his attitude and his outlook in life to make things better for himself and for his family. 

            Edgardo is a real inspiration, not only to people with disability but also to the sighted like us who sometimes can get discouraged by some of the challenges and obstacles that come our way.  If the PWDs have that strong determination to overcome hurdles, definitely sighted individuals can take inspiration from them.   

2Corinthians 4:16-18 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

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