Home > News > Overcoming Darkness and Finding Love: An Inspiring Story of a Visually-Impaired Person Due to UXO Accident
Gai and Thanh packaging their final incense products branded Thanh Gai Incense at their home in An Don Ward, Quang Tri Town.

Le Quang Thanh and Ho Thi Gai met each other in the early 1980s when they attended a catechism class at Tri Buu church. One day in 1984, the teacher checked the class attendance and didn’t find Thanh. His students said: “Thanh had a bomb accident yesterday near the junction of Long Hung.” The 11-year-old boy lost his sight when a piece of ordnance exploded on the rice field where his father was plowing.

Thanh works with a pedal incense-making machine in a small workshop at his home in An Don Wars.

The two classmates hadn’t seen each other again for 12 years. In 1996, Gai was planting rice on a field near Thanh’s house. Despite his blindness, Thanh recognized his classmate immediately when people said to him that was Gai from An Don village. In the two years that followed, Thanh walked from his home in Quảng Tri Town taking the dirt road along Thach Han River to see Gai who lived in An Don.

Their love deepened over time. Regardless of social prejudice, they married in 1998 and had their first daughter two years later. A second boy was born in 2008. Thanh was among the first members of Quang Tri Blind Center which was established to help visually-impaired people in the town to earn independent income from making bamboo products for sale such as toothpicks, brooms, and incense.

With support from Project RENEW thanks to funding provided by the Irish Embassy in Vietnam, Thanh and Gai began crafting incense at home under the brand “Thanh Gai.” This venture, fueled by their unwavering spirit, earns this couple more than four million VND from incense, enough to cover their daily subsistence costs.

In An Don parish, people know this special couple. They go to church every Sunday morning and spend the rest of their week making incense for sale. You can buy their homemade incense branded Thanh Gai in An Don ward, next to An Don Parish Church.