News & Politics

Meet an Amazing Blind Man Raising Blind Triplets

When Ollie Cantos (second from the left) met (from left) Leo, Steven, and Nick, he planned to be just a mentor. Then the relationship—and their lives—went in an unexpected direction. Photograph by Lexey Swall.
Ollie Cantos was a workaholic Washington lawyer—the highest-ranking blind person in the federal government—when he heard about Leo, Nick, and Steven, blind triplets in Arlington who needed help.

The boys were ten years old and living a fairly sheltered existence, with their mother and grandmother, when they met Ollie in 2010. Bored and somewhat depressed by their day-to-day lives, they were being bullied by other kids and getting into fights. Ollie slowly taught them how to live more independently as a blind person—as he himself had learned. The brothers began to do things they’d never done by themselves before, from riding a Metro train to making friends. They began to do better in school and thrive.

But what started as a mentor relationship turned into much more, when Ollie was recently granted joint legal custody of the boys. You can read the full story of Ollie Cantos and his sons in the September 2016 issue of Washingtonian, on newsstands now. Right now, check out this video by Washingtonian staff photographer Evy Mages of a day in the life of the remarkable Cantos family.

Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Top Doctors, and Great Small Towns. She lives in DC.