A Bricklayer or A Garbage Sweeper

A Bricklayer or A Garbage Sweeper

Nha Trang, July 20th  2021

Dear Benefactors of the Leper Friends Association,

First of all, I would like to greet you. I would like to introduce myself as Doctor Mac Van Hoa from Xom Nho – Nui San Leprosy Village, Nha Trang has received the help of Leper Friends Association. My family’s situation was very difficult in the 70s to 90s. Although my father had leprosy and was disabled, he had to work by cycling and digging garbage to support the family. During those years, our family was often hungry because there was not enough rice to cook every day. Therefore, when I reached the age of 12, I also rummaged through garbage to earn money for the family. I had a very low self-esteem because of poverty and my father had leprosy. I was stigmatized by society, so I just wanted to drop out of school.

Fortunately, in 1995, the Leper Friends Association came to our aid through the Father Joseph Nguyen Quang Huy. I received a scholarship from the Leper Friends Association since its inception in 1995. During my time as a medical student, the Association provided me with all tuition fees. I graduated from Saigon Medical University in 2000. Without the sponsoring Association, I would not have been able to study to become a doctor but I would have to work as a manual laborer such as a bricklayer or a sweeper.

After finishing university, I went to work at Khanh Hoa Provincial General Hospital. In 2007, the Leper Friends Association again provided a scholarship for me to continue studying for a Master’s degree in Neurology at Saigon Medical University for two years. I became a Doctor of Neurology with the help of the Association. Currently, I am the Head of Internal Medicine, Khanh Hoa Provincial General Hospital. Every day, I always remember the love of your benefactors for me, so I try to share that love with every patient that I have the opportunity to treat.

At the end of the letter, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the benefactors of the Leper Friends Association for loving and supporting our grandparents, parents and us for the past 26 years, from 1995 until now. We also hope that the Association will continue to help disabled and poor leprosy patients to have the minimum living conditions of a human life and students to have the opportunity to continue to study.

May God bless you all benefactors.


Mac Van Hoa