Girls’ Generation Sooyoung revealed her father’s visual impairment and his devotion to the blind
Sooyoung recently appeared in a content video on the YouTube channel “One shot Hansol” as a guest.
Last month, Sooyoung made headlines when she donated 300 million won to Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital in research promotion funds with members of the Korean Foundation Fighting Blindness. In this regard, she shared, “There’s an organization called the Korean Foundation Fighting Blindness run by my father. Most people think I donated that entire sum of money but other patients donated as well”.
When asked for the purpose of the donation, Sooyoung said, “My father has what’s called ‘Retinitis pigmentosa’ (the slow damage of cells in the retina leading to narrowing and loss of vision). He was diagnosed in 2004. Back then, there was barely any information about that disease. Not a lot of eye doctors or professors in that field knew about it, either. So my father thought, ‘I should find them myself’. And after creating this foundation, he uploaded translations of research papers from overseas about this disease”. In fact, comedian Lee Dong Woo also suffered from this rare disease and lost his vision.
When asked if her father was the inspiration behind her donation, Sooyoung said, “It was half forced by him. He never forces me but I know deep down he wants me to participate in more of these events. Yet, he holds back a lot because he doesn’t want to add more to my schedule so I know how much consideration it took for him to ask me and I try to help as much as I can”.
She continued, “Whenever I visit my parent’s house, we sit together and he tells me what he is up to these days. He says things like, ‘My vision is fading more by the day so it’s about time I educate you to take over my place’, ‘Invite patients with rare eye disorders and diseases all over Asia and help them get surgery, I would love it if you could do it for me’. So I told him, ‘What if this isn’t my place? What if I’m not fit for such a position?’, but he said, ‘Don’t you think there’s a reason life bestowed you with all this popularity and fame?’. I was just kidding around but I know he committed his life to this foundation so I’m planning to continue this triumph”.
Hansol then asked, “How did your attitude toward your father change after he became visually impaired?”, Sooyoung said, “My father has been dealing with visual impairment since I was a child. So I was used to it. I knew I should never leave him alone or make him hold my elbow when we are going somewhere or tell him what’s on the meal table”.
Sooyoung also revealed that Girls’ Generation members and fans also participated in activities to support the blind.