Gabi Hollows has revealed intimate details of family life with and without husband Fred, in an exclusive interview with Channel Nine’s The Bottom Line, set to air at 4.00pm on Saturday 8 March.
Hollows describes her passion for the Foundation she helped set up in 1992 and of which she has been the public face since 1993 and the important work it continues to do around the world.
“Some of the countries that we work in are some of the most war torn places. We go to the hardest places and most challenging places, every day that inspires me and fires up my batteries,” said Hollows.
“Out of all the people in the world who are blind, four out of five don’t have to be if they have access to a good ophthalmologist. That’s pretty mind blowing when you think about it.”
She describes her shock and fear upon learning of Fred’s diagnosis and her sadness that their five children have been forced to grow up without their father.
“So they were just little ones really, the twins were, they hadn’t turned three when Fred passed away.
“But it’s sad for me like with the kids then not having their dad around to see them grow up is another thing you know…”
She says despite her loss she knew she had to keep on going to deliver on Fred’s commitment to improving the lives of people right around the world.
“People said to Fred ‘no it won’t work’ and ‘we can’t do this’ and he said, ‘well, we will make it work.’ He was larger than life and I’m a bit sort of sentimental and…Irish in my belief that he really is there on our shoulder, watching us and what’s going on…”
Last year The Fred Hollows Foundation worked across 19 countries to support over 400,000 sight-restoring treatments and procedures, trained more than 40,000 health workers and surgeons and provided over two million eye screenings.
“The donors have been extraordinary and we can’t do it without the generosity of our everyday Australians whether it’s a little old lady who makes a pot of ham and sells it for 50 cents or somebody who might crochet a tea cossie.”
Gabi Hollows shares her insights with Alex Malley on The Bottom Line – airing on Saturday 8 March at 4.00pm on Channel Nine.
For more information, visit The Bottom Line website: www.thebottomlinetv.com.au
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Gabi Hollows on The Bottom Line is Episode 4 in a 24 episode series.
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