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Dear Tom,

My dad is the proudest, strongest man I know.  He is so strong he hates to admit when he is in pain and he has been in a great deal of agony my entire life.  I was born twenty-seven years ago —I’m the youngest of his four children— at the time my father worked at an airport on planes.   One day, airplane equipment fell on his leg, leaving him with permanent damage.   He was given a custom-made leg brace after the accident that he is required to wear to aid in standing and walking.

Today, my dad’s old leg brace is falling apart.   He has tried to glue it, sew it, tape it up, but it doesn’t help to give him the support he needs and it constantly slips down his leg, which frustrates him greatly.   He is on disability and is uninsured, so he hasn’t been able to replace it and the cost is beyond what we can raise as a family.   His pride wouldn’t allow us to sacrifice our hard-earned money on his behalf anyway.

Tom, I am getting married next year and I would love my father to be able to walk me down the aisle, however, without a brace it would be unbearable for him to do so.    It is my Christmas Wish to ask for your help to send my father to an orthopedic specialist who can have a leg brace made that fits his limb properly, letting him stand tall, walk with pain-free confidence and greater safety.  That would be the best gift ever.

CHRISTMAS WISH: James St. John  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com