The Farmer's Son

A parent's struggle to give their young son a chance in life.


Clelia is the proud mother of four boys. When her third child Lennon was born, she knew something was wrong and brought him to the local health clinic. However, she was told that everything was fine and he would grow out of whatever was wrong.



Over time, Clelia knew in her heart something was not right. As Lennon began to walk he would fall over all the time and hit into objects. This was more than just a clumsy child. So, Clelia brought him to the city of Huanuco, four hours away from their home. At the local hospital, Lennon was told that he had cataracts.




Lennon Tumbay Gamarra (photos)


As Lennon grew older, he started to fall behind in school - he couldn't read because of his poor eyesight. At 9 years of age, he was only learning at a first-grade level. Clelia couldn't leave her son house alone and Lennon was totally dependent on his parents and siblings.




Clelia realised that her son's treatment would not be easy, especially with the family's modest income - Lennon's father worked as a day labourer and farmed potatoes for extra income. With no pediatric cataract surgery facilities available in Huanuco, they would have to travel another 8 hours away to Lima and search for treatment.



After a few of Clelia's relatives offered to help cover travel costs, mother and son began the journey to Lima in the hopes that he could finally get treatment. Over the course of 20 days, he was brought in for test after test, and eventually the money dried up and they had to leave without any further treatment.



Dr. Gordillo examined Lennon's vision at the hospital



With no money or family support, Clelia found a job cleaning in a gym. Desperate to help her son, Clelia would tell people of their plight. Eventually someone heard the mother's desperate plea for help, and she was introduced to Dr. Gladys who helped refer them to HelpMeSee's campaign in Peru.



Thanks to the combined efforts of Dr. Gladys, Dr. Portugal and Dr. Gordillo, Lennon could receive sight-restoring surgery on his right eye.



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A happy family following a successful surgery to restore their son's sight



Today Lennon is a little bit closer to becoming an independent child with the opportunity to pursue his education, and his mother and father no longer have to worry about their son suffering in a lifetime of darkness.