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My pride for my girl

Solomoni Biumaiono
Sunday, January 13, 2013

The man who gave up his pride for the sake of his 13-year-old daughter's welfare has finally succumbed to the dreadful disease that made him bedridden for the last three years.

The 48-year-old man from Lau, Alipate Ledua passed away at his Jittu Estate home last Sunday but not after he tried his best to get help for his daughter Sigalima Savukigau.

Ledua bit the proverbial bullet and made a leap of faith to publicly tell his story of how his family was torn apart because of the debilitating disease of diabetes.

Former co-worker and one of the community leaders at Jittu Estate Deo Singh said Ledua finally succumbed to the diabetes which crippled his body and took away his ability to walk and work.

Singh is relieved that Ledua's estranged wife has returned at this crucial time and has taken over the duty of looking after their daughter Savukigau.

He said he is still to talk to Savukigau's mother concerning the various forms of charity that has flowed in ever since Ledua went public with his story.

"We've talked a bit about it but our aim is to ensure that the help that Alipate and his daughter has received in the past will still allow her to continue in the future even though he is no longer with us," Singh said.

Ledua's life story triggered many members of the public to come to his aid as his inability to walk has robbed him of him of his livelihood.

Help and calls came in from as far as Texas in the United States, Liberia in Africa and that is not counting those from Australia and New Zealand as well as those businesses, groups and individuals here in Fiji.

I still remember the day I went to Jittu estate to interview Ledua after he has been blessed by the various forms of help from people.

In the gloom of that rainy day, Ledua's smiling face light up the tiny shack they call home and said, "I still think I am dreaming because help came to us immediately from complete strangers and the only thing I can take away from this is my heartfelt thanks to those who turned up to help and also for me, in listening to other peoples' advice."

Naturally he acknowledged that not everyone took his story the way he wanted it to be taken because he publicly shared how his wife left him.

"I know some people are saying that I don't have any pride by going public with my story but to me that is not the important thing and it does not matter. The important thing is that I have assured my child of an education and to me that is satisfaction enough."

"For as a parent I know that everything is not about me anymore but it's all about the children. If it means losing my pride and being publicly ridiculed in order for my child to survive? I will do it!" Ledua had said.

And for that we bid farewell to Ledua who was buried at the Nasinu Cemetery on Thursday.

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