The Fred Hollows Foundation
I first learned about The Fred Hollows Foundation when I was a young man visiting my grandmother; we were walking through her house and I was always fascinated with Nan’s stories. On this particular day the subject of Fred Hollows came up. I had spied a new addition to the house, a framed photo of a man, wearing glasses, pipe in mouth and a content smile on his face. At the time I thought perhaps it was a family member or an old flame, and so I asked who it was. The reply was a one I have never forgotten. “That Niky, is the best human being that can exist in the world”. She went on to explain everything she knew about the man.
She told me about Fred Hollows and how as a young man he considered becoming a priest, then ended up studying to become an eye surgeon. She told me how he worked on farms as a young man to pay his way, and how he selflessly worked to improve the lives of those less fortunate. Most importantly, she told me how Fred had vision for a world where no one is needlessly blind and Indigenous Australians exercise their right to good health.
Then with a sadness in her eyes she told me that he had passed away and she had put up the photo out of respect for Fred Hollows and he would stay right there on the living room wall and has done for over 25 years. Now it is proudly displayed in our office of the Best Natural Treatments and Best Chilblains Treatment workspace.
Tucked neatly behind the photo of Fred Hollows is a copy of his story which was printed in “Open Road” magazine in April 1993, two months after he passed away. The story speaks about his love for 4WDing, the Australian outback and the cars he has taken with him. More importantly though, he talks about his greatest passion, helping Indigenous Australians, training eye surgeons and restoring sight to those less fortunate than ourselves.
If you’d like a copy of the story please click on this link and download the PDF file – Fred Hollows Auto Biography The Open Road Magazine April 1993
My Grandmother has always supported The Fred Hollows Foundation and the good people who work there. More recently Nan has had her own battle, being diagnosed a couple of years ago with cancer and only given a short time to live. She is 91 now so has outlived her earlier short prognosis, but the cancer has taken hold and it is only a matter of time when her journey with us will come to an end.
She said to me recently, “if I had a million dollars I would give it to the Fred Hollows foundation”. Well that got me thinking. My Grandmother has gifted me so much over the years, and we started on our online business together in 2012 which is something that I will take to my grave. So what if we were to donate a percentage of all our sales to The Fred Hollows Foundation, we might make it to that million dollars one day, and even when my nan does leave this world, her legacy will be able to live on through our little business.
So as of the 1 May 2015 I can proudly say that we support The Fred Hollows Foundation by donating a portion of all sales to keeping Fred’s dream alive.
You might be interested to know….
“The Fred Hollows Foundation is inspired by the work of the late Professor Fred Hollows (1929–1993). Fred was an eye doctor, a skilled surgeon of international renown and a social justice activist.
There are 32.4 million people globally who are blind. What is most astonishing is that 4 out of 5 people who are blind don’t need to be, and 90% of these people live in the developing world.
Fred was committed to improving the health of Indigenous Australians and to reducing the cost of eye health care and treatment in developing countries.
The Foundation was established in Sydney in 1992, five months before Fred passed away, with the aim of continuing and expanding on the program work he had started in Eritrea, Vietnam and Indigenous Australia.
The Foundation now works in 24 countries throughout Africa, Asia, Australia and The Pacific focusing on blindness prevention and Australian Indigenous health.
Through reducing the cost of cataract operations to as little as $25 in some developing countries, the Foundation has restored sight to more than 2 million people worldwide.”