Soon after David Luong’s son William was diagnosed in 2003 with a neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord, the 7-year-old boy became paralyzed from the waist down.
Although Luong, an El Cerrito, CA, letter carrier, had experienced hardship before — fleeing Vietnam by boat in the 1970s — having to cope with his son’s condition was worse.
“It was extremely hard for him to come to terms with it,” said Luong. “He became depressed and withdrawn.”
Luong and his wife, Hue, worked to keep William active and help him regain his confidence.
In 2005, they learned about the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP), an organization that helps improve the lives of those with disabilities through sports, fitness and recreational programs.
After William joined BORP’s youth program, his parents saw a difference.
“BORP no doubt improved the health, independence and social skills of my son and many participants with physical disabilities,” said Luong.
William played basketball and participated in many outdoor activities in the program until he began attending the University of California at Berkeley, where is he now a junior.
Because BORP is a Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) charity, Luong became a CFC coordinator at the El Cerrito Post Office in 2006.
In this role, he encourages his co-workers and other USPS employees to support the annual charity drive.
“I have learned a great deal from my experience, and it is my belief that donors are the most important component to the success of the CFC,” he said.
Employees can make CFC contributions through Dec. 15.