Treasured Memories

In Memoriam donations made to HEF on behalf of lost loved ones

A gift “in memoriam” or “in-memory of” a loved one is really an honor and tribute to the life of the person that has passed away.  They may have been a true gift to your life, so your contribution to a charitable organization pay homage to their memory.  Your donation of $100 to our charitable foundation can give the gift of sight to a person in need.  Tribute giving raises money for missions that positively impact entire communities.  Your sharing is another way to extend the lifetime of support that was a way of life for your loved one. It can encourage other supporters to do more.

Please tell us about the special person in your life that made a difference, and that can continues to make a difference, in this world!  We will post your memories along with those of other letters on our website in the “Treasured Memories” page, under a “Tributes Recently Added” section.

November 10, 2017 for Veteran’s Day:

Dear Hawaiian Eye Foundation,

I would like to make a donation this November 11 in memory of my maternal grandfather, Danylo (Daniel) Danylyk (1901-1993).

During WWI, Dan was taken from his small village in Ukraine and forced to fight for the Austro-Hungarian empire. One day while laying a communications cable, he was ambushed and shot, then taken to a prisoner of war camp in Poland. While there, he had surgery for his war wound and the Poles taught him to be a tailor. After the war ended, Dan walked home to his village.

Like many Ukrainians of the time, Dan went to Canada to seek his fortune. But first he had to work on a farm for a year to pay back the price of his boat ticket. Dan was so homesick this first year that he was unable to eat even Christmas dinner. Instead, he went to his small room and ate the last stale scrap of bread from the loaf his mother had baked for Dan’s trip abroad—moistened and salted with his tears.

Dan eventually learned English, married, raised a family, became a Canadian citizen. He faithfully paid his taxes, voted and worked hard at whatever jobs he could find: sweatshop tailor, hospital laundry, and after retirement, school crossing guard. Dan loved to help out at the farmer’s market on Saturdays and was paid in bruised apples which he carefully peeled and cooked into applesauce for his grandchildren to eat, which we loved with a generous dollop of sour cream.

Dan would later require another surgery to repair his old war would—thankfully performed by Dr. Gordon Murray, who would go on to become Canada’s greatest surgical pioneer (Surgical Limits: The Life of Gordon Murray, by Shelly McKellar, is an excellent biography). The good doctor waived his fee; he too was a veteran of WWI.

Dan returned to his old village in Ukraine on a family trip in 1984. His remaining friends and relatives recognized him immediately: “Dan! You’ve come home!”

Eight years later, Dan died at the age of 92.

“Veechnaya pamyat” is Ukrainian for “forever in our memory”.

B. H.