Christmas is certainly the time for sharing one’s blessings and the Nelmida twins Jerome and Joshua, both born blind, have been receiving their fair share of life’s blessings as they enjoy support from kind-hearted people who salute them for being certified paratriathletes. They swim, bike and run, the three disciplines that compose a triathlon.
But two days before Christmas came, the twins had a reversal of roles as together with mother Annete, they not only visited the Missionaries of the Poor shelter house in San Andres, Manila but even brought their own gifts. They even rendered a couple of songs for the 23 special children and 17 elderly males who are homeless and without family support.
The event was a Christmas gift-giving organized by this writer, the third time for the less fortunate in life. They include mentally and physically afflicted kids some on wheelchairs or portable mini beds.
Jesuit priest Fr. Richard Ho Lung founded a congregation to help better the poor and opened its first branch in Jamaica, one of the poorest countries in the world.
Joshua and Jerome were warmly received by the residents and staff of the shelter and it was a sight to see children trying to reach out to them.
The twins expressed their hope that one of the kids here can go into sports the way they have embraced triathlon. Last year the twins competed in the Asian Paratriathlon Championships in Legazpi City and are hoping to be official entries in the forthcoming Asean Paragames on March.
This writer raises funds for this project, also for street kids and families and indigent kids in Mt. Banahaw in Quezon every year and a lot of people respond without question, including sports personalities like ex-PBA cager Mike Advani, now a successful businessman, former ‘70s Crispa player Vito Orcullo, sportsman-businessman Jean Henri Lhuillier, equestrienne Carissa Coscoluella, and current Philippine women’s basketball team assistant coach Ai Lebornio.