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My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer 3 years into his retirement at 65. He was previously in good health and received a handsome payout from the government’s retirement fund. He could finally afford to take my mom to see the world as she’d always dreamed. Now he stumbles his way to the bathroom to vomit while my mom cleans everything up and makes sure he eats enough to not starve to death before his inevitable death from the cancer in a few months.

He was a loyal government employee as a professor for more than 40 years and this is his reward. I’m not one to get emotional but this gets me tearing up every time I think about it.

As tragic as it is it’s not anyone’s fault but reality. Reality doesn’t know or care about my dad. Random genetic mutation is to blame for his premature death and no one could have done anything whatsoever to prevent it.

What people could have done is not pay him like a slave for his decades long outstanding contributions to society. All the accolades and trophies they awarded him collecting dust on the shelf mean nothing at this point. What would have really made a difference is remuneration that fits his worth to the thousands of lives he’s mentored and inspired.

Instead the market gave him the peanuts it perceives his worth to be, and it breaks my heart. The market was wrong. He used a skill he had to the best of his ability and produced thousands of people making six and more figures today: doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants, computer scientists and programmers. For God’s sake he wrote the grade report program the school uses to this day for free!

If the world doesn’t recognise the inspiring figure that was my father, I hope you guys here will raise a glass to a man who left his mark to change the world for the better.