In 2010, Ollie Cantos, a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C., enthusiastically agreed to mentor 10-year-old triplet brothers. Also born blind, Cantos knew he’d have a lot in common with the boys.
The brothers – Nick, Steven and Leo Cantos – were born with retinopathy of prematurity, a disease that occurs in premature babies and causes blindness. Cantos was also born with the same condition.
The lawyer first heard of the blind brothers through a friend from church.
Recently, the three brothers each earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts and they credited their father Ollie Cantos with the remarkable achievement.
“Having the boys in my life has been nothing short of a series of miracles day after day after day from the very day that they came into my life,” he told ABC News. “Life has just never been the same.”
The boys graduated high school this past June, and for the last six years, the Cantos brothers have devoted their time and energy to rising through the ranks of the Boy Scouts.
Ollie says he is proud that his sons credit him with their accomplishments, but the highest compliment to him is simply being called “Dad.”
“Whenever I hear you call me ‘Dad,’ it’s the highest compliment to me,” Cantos told the three brothers in a video by Storycorps. “You three used to be in the same situation that I was, and to see you come out of that and to be the way you guys are now, it’s impossible to describe how grateful I am that I get to be your dad.”
As for the boys, they say they’re beyond grateful Cantos came into their lives.
“If dad weren’t here, two things would happen – either I’d be in a gang fighting people or I’d be dead. I had no other way of living, so escaping it would be better,” says Steven.
He adds,, “Our dad saved our lives.”