14-year-old triplets Leo, Nick and Steven Argel have been blind since birth.
Growing up, their single mother had a hard time caring for them, and she rarely allowed them outside their home.
But when they were 10 years old, Ollie Cantos—another blind man in their community—got word of their situation and knocked on their door.
Ollie begins their conversation.
Ollie is in the process of formally adopting the brothers.
Click here for the transcript.
Leo Argel: Same thing.
OC: Same thing with you guys, right?
OC: So, what were things like growing up?
LA: Well, every day was like wake up, go to school, come back home, and then you stay there for the rest of the day. There were certain things that I wish I could do like go out and play in the snow like everyone else. 'Cause I've heard kids through the window—we could hear that they were having fun. The only thing I remember when I was seven, we went to McDonald’s, and we went to the park. We rarely went outside.
Nick Argel: It was getting so bad that I wanted to die. But it was one of the decisions I'm glad I did not make because I would have missed out on everything.
OC: Do you remember that night when I first arrived?
NA: Oh yeah, I do. Because I…I certainly didn't know that there were other blind people except me and my brothers.
OC: You didn't believe me that I’m really blind. So, I'm like, "Well yeah, here's my cane." And then you left and came back with a book, and you put my hand on it, and it was the Bible. You couldn't believe that I actually read Braille.
NA: It just made me feel like I had a person that I could trust, because I didn't trust anyone.
OC: I took you guys individually to learn how to use your canes better, and we'd just go to the corner store, and I remember, Leo, one day the store clerk—she said, "Is that your son?" And, you know, before I could answer, you put your arm around me, and you said, "Yeah, it' my dad." And I said, "Do you know what that means?" You said, "Well, you take us places, you protect us, you help us with our homework. Sounds like a dad to me."
Whenever I hear you call me “Dad,” it's the highest compliment to me. 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.