"This is really beautiful, a program that reaches out to others unconditionally and offers support to people in poor countries that don't have the services we take for granted," remembers Nancy Maddams when she first learned about Seva Canada.
Nancy is a former teacher and yoga instructor. She is a mother of two and lives in Ottawa with her husband. Her interest in eastern philosophy, meditation, and yoga led her to Seva Co-Founder, Ram Dass's teachings and Seva. Nancy was drawn to Seva because we provide eye care to people living in remote and isolated areas of low-income countries which has such an immediate impact on people's lives.
Nancy had a life-changing experience with her own eyesight. "The idea of blindness and lack of sight and how it impacts one's life, wasn't something I truly understood until I developed early onset cataracts. I was a busy mother of teenagers at the time and all of a sudden, my vision became cloudy. One day I walked outside and I couldn't see the steps, I realized something was wrong," recalls Nancy. Thankfully, she soon had sight-restoring surgery in one of her eyes.
"When I received my first cataract surgery, it was like someone peeled wax paper off the world. It brought home to me how your world shrinks when you can't see. The more my vision became cloudy, the narrower my life became. This experience really made me appreciate Seva's work."
Nancy donates monthly, fundraises in her community, and gives the gift of sight along with tribute cards as holiday gifts for her loved ones each year. "It's fun to choose from these beautiful offerings that will impact people's lives so powerfully. I always enjoy matching the catalogue gifts of sight to the people receiving the cards." She also admires the photos and powerful stories of Seva's work. Nancy's favourite story is about a nine-year-old boy in Nepal who led his grandfather for two days through the mountains to reach an eye camp. After receiving sight-restoring cataract surgery, the grandfather was able to see his grandson for the first time.
When asked why she has supported Seva Canada for so many years Nancy replied: "I feel a sense of warmth and connection in Seva. It's personal and it really brings out a feeling of joy and gratitude to
be able to donate. When I think of myself and where I'd be now without cataract surgery, the difference in one's life when you can't see is devastating. It's just such a beautiful thing to give and restore someone's sight."
"When I think of myself and where I'd be now without cataract surgery, the difference in one's life when you can't see is devastating. It's just such a beautiful thing to give and restore someone's sight."