Tom's Story

Post 12/04/2018

My father was a solider affected by Agent Orange, which passed to me and my sister, causing vision impairment at birth. 

When I was small, being a visually impaired in a school full of normal people is hard, really hard. Sometimes you felt rejected. In class, I had to borrow textbooks and materials from friends to copy before class or regularly asked friends what’s on the black board, but I never blamed anybody because of my circumstance. You cannot prevent things like that from happening.  That is why I played like other kids and made jokes like nothing happened, trying to be as happy as possible. My favorite subject was writing because even though I am cheerful and content with what I have, who wants to be a visually impaired? Sometimes, I could even trick myself into thinking I am normal. It always went away though, leaving me in the blindness, an undeniable truth.

Tom and the volunteers

I stayed in Nghe An province until I was 18. Then I went to different places to learn and practiced massage. I was pretty good at it when I heard of Omamori Spa. I applied for a job here and entered their training process. The Spa is clean. It is professional. I get motivated when I am living and working with other colleagues. They are just like me, with some kinds of disability (mostly visual impairment). 

My massage instructor is a visually impaired too and she is the teacher of all Blind-Link’ students Link’ students. I encouraged myself by thinking “if they can do it, why can’t I?” It helped me so much to overcome challenges in the beginning of learning new western massage techniques. I also learn English here. After I talked to so many people, I found out that I am like a frog at the bottom of a well, unaware of the world outside. I hope one day I can go abroad to work as a therapist. In the past, I never dreamed of it. But now, I believe if you have courage, integrity and high determination, you can accomplish everything.

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