Received disturbing news that Chinese authorities raided the office of the Beijing non-governmental organization YiRenPing which is fights hepatitis B discrimination in China. Read the article HERE. It is really frustrating to hear about this. I’m interested in learning more about the details of the raid and learning about the exact reason for the confiscation of a legal guide describing how to fight hepatitis B discrimination. The YiRenPeng recently published a report on multinational corporations and Chinese companies that used pre-hiring / firing hepatitis B practices, and they help to raise awareness about hepatitis B and dispell misconceptions about its transmission (which is ONLY through blood contact, NOT through food!).
I’m really disturbed. Furthermore, one of my interns in Vietnam related a story about how a physician incorrectly diagnosed a patient AND then told her that she received hepatitis B from her husband because of his drinking (hepatitis B is NOT caused by drinking alcohol – it’s a blood borne disease!). So frustrating.
Thanks for listening to my mini rants.
Thanks to SL for this lovely bit of imagery and intellectual delight!
Does she love you? She says yes, but really
how do you know unless you undress that easy assertion,
undoing its petals and laminae, and going in
below all trace of consciousness, into the neuroelectrical
coffer where self-understanding is storaged away,
and then lifting its uttermost molecule out, to study
in its nakedness as it spins
in a clinical light?—the way
we all, in our various individual versions
of this common human urge, go in,
and in, and in, the physicist down
to the string-vibration underlying matter, and
the Appalachia fiddler getting so
(as she puts it) “into my music,” sound becomes
a flesh for her to intimately (“in”-timately)
enter, “its thick and its sweetbreads.”
Is he cheating on you? He says no, and feigns
that he’s insulted, but for certainty
you’ll need to delicately strip the bark away
and drill, and tweeze, until you can smear a microscope slide
of the pith and can augur the chitterlings
—the way the philosopher can’t accept a surface
assumption of truth, but needs to peel back
the fatty sheen of the dermis, soak the cambium layer
into a blow-away foam, and then with pick
and lightbeam helmet, inch by inch begin
spelunking through those splayed-out caverns
under the crust, where gems of cogitation are buried
—the way the diver descends for the pearl,
the miner: in, the archaeologist: in, the therapist: down
the snakier roots of us and in, and in, the way
the lone, leg-pretzeled yogi makes
a glowing bathysphere of worldliness and sends it in,
and further in, tinier and heavier and ever in,
the way the man in the opium den is floating forever,
toward a horizon positioned in the center of the center
of his head…. If we could stand beyond the border
of our species and consider us objectively, it might seem
that our purpose in existing is to be a living agency
that balances, or maybe even slows, the universe’s
irreversible expansion out, and out … and each
of us, a contribution to that task.
My friend John’s wife received the news: a “growth,”
a “mass,” on her pituitary, marble-sized, mysterious.
And the primary-care physician said: Yes,
we must go in and in. That couldn’t be the final word!
And the second-opinion physician said: Yes,
who said the prayers at Juliette’s grave, who drove
all night from Switzerland with your daughter, you
on this irreplaceable day in your irreplaceable skin
in the scumbled light as it crosses the bay in Corpus Christi,
yes in the shadows, yes in the radiance,
yes we must go in and in.
Copyright © 2008 by The Poetry Foundation
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Was feeling that I hadn’t been keeping up with the news (last thing that I did that was remotely connected to the world was listening to the Sotomayor Senate hearings on NPR), and was scouring NYtimes.com and WSJ.com, and came across this article that I had flagged to read last week: an article on the Koh brothers and their rise to the capitol. I liked the article for several reasons.
1) It’s really exciting for me to see Asians taking a more prominent role in the political/public forum.
2) I enjoyed reading about the successes of immigrant parents’ children and how they not only got their top-tiered education to make their parents proud, but to effect real change in the world. I really liked this line from the Koh parents: “It’s one thing to get a great education and do well in school, but it’s not important if you can’t ultimately use it to help other people.”
3) I found the last quote particularly inspiring: “Maybe the biggest challenge is taking a [system] which is focused almost purely on treatment, and transforming it into an effective system of prevention,” [Howard Koh] says.”
Interesting read in today’s NYtimes’ health section: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/28/health/28book.html?_r=1&ref=health
Maybe I’ll pick up the book and let you know what I think.
Quick morning update: On of my interns NT has been working hard with hepatitis B outreach education in the Filipino community, and she was able to get an article written on GMANews.TV, a prominent Filipino news community, to write an article on hepatitis B. It’s great! And I really like the little green box summary on the right. Great job, NT!
I’ll be working on YLC with CL today – one week until YLC!!!! Crazy! Exciting, but slightly overwhelming.
On the off note, ST is making me a Jade Ribbon dress, and I’m very excited about this mini project. Can’t wait to see it!
I think my future posts (at least for the following two weeks) will be on the shorter side as my life is being completely taken over by YLC. Apologies for the brevity.
And one last shout out to DJS for coming up to the Bay Area and filming DCK 2. Sorry that I couldn’t hang out very much, but I did enjoy seeing you, and you certainly have a talent for film making. 🙂 Good luck at H-town and I’ll come out and visit once we hire the new Outreach Coordinator.
Quick post today. Woke up at 3:45 AM to drive CT to his first marathon in SF. He finished in roughly 4.5 hours! Congratulations! Esp for not training! :p Currently dead-tired even though I didn’t run the marathon. Can’t wait to fall into bed and sleep.
Musings: The streets of Chinatown at 6:15 AM in the morning are rife with the smell of freshly baked pastries and the first batch of dim sum. And beyond the distant sound of a lonely ambulance screaming its way to a destination, the thuds of vegetables being tossed into bins after inspection were the only sounds beyond the slap of my flip flops on the dirty, well-worn paths of Stockton street. And the plumes of cigarrete smoke that shrouded the tough-skinned men squatting near an open Asian bakery trailed behind me as I searched for a place to sit and work in the Sunday early morning. I eventually fell asleep in my car in Portsmouth garage, third level, next to the “Wisdom” character before trekking back to Folsom and Embarcadero to cheer CT’s finish in the hot sun.
More images of today to come later. My hair is currently disgusting and my eyes are bruised and wrinkled from the abuse I give them while sleeping. My allergies and eczema have been rather vicious lately, and I’m grateful for the brown tinge to my glasses to make the state of my eyes less painfully obvious. When I look in the mirror, I see the eyes of an old woman: droopy, tired, and wrinkled with time (or fierce rubbing…). And what’s even better, JK sent me a NYtimes article entitled “My Eczema, My Shame.” I thought it amusing that it was in my inbox today. How fitting. Though my eczema is not as severe as the authors, many of her mannerisms and experiences mirror my own habits and self-doubts. Thanks to the author for the beautiful piece, and thanks JK for sending it!
Okay, off to sleep. More posts to come about this past week. Thank you for reading!
The ALC staff and interns have been busily preparing for the Jade Ribbon reusable bag launch at 99 Ranch Market (Cupertino) tomorrow! That’s one reason why I have been a little MIA in terms of posting on this blog; however, expect a lot of updates from me soon! But back to the Jade Ribbon bag: This environmentally-friendly bag is a great way to raise awareness about liver cancer and hepatitis B and build a sustainable community. The eco-friendly reusable shopping bag, along with hep B educational materials, will be available with every donation of $2 or more to the Jade Ribbon Campaign. Visit the ALC’s website (http://liver.stanford.edu) for more info!
The Jade Ribbon Campaign reusable bag will be at all ten Northern California 99 Ranch Market Stores. If you are in SoCal or Washington and want one, let me know and I’ll see if 99 Ranch Market will bring them over there!
– Join us! Press Conference Kick-Off Celebration
When: Friday, July 24th @ 3:00 PM
Where: Cupertino 99 Ranch Market on 10983 North Wolfe Rd Cupertino, CA 95014
Who: Everyone is invited to come and support the Jade Ribbon Campaign!
Notables: First 100 people to spend $50 in groceries at 99 Ranch Market Cupertino will get a FREE bag! Come get your picture taken with Miss Asian America!
– Show your support!
Put this image in your EV or FB (wherever you want!) to show your support of tomorrow’s event! 🙂
This project means a lot to me because SC and I have been working really hard on this for over 8 months now, and it’s really exciting to see this all come to fruition. I still remember when one of my interns EY was still calling for reusable bag quotes – and that was before she went to Oxford for a quarter to study abroad! I don’t know how to express how very excited I am – there are just so many stakeholders in this project and to see the community come together tomorrow will be incredibly rewarding. Miss Asian America and Miss Vietnam Northern California Princesses will be out in addition to our fantastic Jade Ribbon Campaign volunteers and supporters. I’ll see some of my old interns and old friends, and it’s just super heartwarming. I’m really glad that I’ve decided to stay on with the ALC for a second year to work because it’s only after a year that I’ve been able to see many of the fruits of my work. Plus, I’ll get to continue to build the relationships that I’ve built over the past year, and once we hire the new Outreach Coordinator, I can work full time on all these exciting corporate ventures. Cisco has really taken a lead on their own, and I really need to get back on track with our hep B corporate working team! Another thing I’m excited is about all the ethnic media coverage that has been made, and all the press that will be at the event tomorrow! World Journal, Sing Tao, Viet Tribune, Korea Times, and Vietnam Daily have just be absolutely fantastic supporters.
The momentum for all this is so energizing, and I hope this momentum will spur people into action to get screened and vaccinated. The bag’s are not only super practical (I can fit all those vegetables and my wafer crackers in these bags), they’re so great at really getting the Jade Ribbon message out.
Alright, now that I’ve finished revamping the ALC main page with a graphic about the event tomorrow, I need to go print the A-frame signs at Kinkos!
And a big thanks to SC and all my FANTASTIC summer 2009 ALC interns. TC is actually still here with me at the office preparing all the photo stuff and all the interns have been instrumental in either creating the banner, packing, creating the press packets, the buttons, coordinating volunteers, and all the incredible things that they do. THANK YOU so much. This really couldn’t have been done without your help!
More updates soon with social marketing workshop in SF, Myer-Briggs personality tests, the love of egg tarts and dim sum!, AND the Jade Ribbon dresses that ST is making me!
Thank you for reading!
First and foremost: welcome to the Club 23, SLC and GK. 🙂
Two posts today to make up for the lack of updates yesterday! I’m currently in my Web 2.0 class learning about wikis and the next topic is about a social media tool called brickfish. Today’s class is not as applicable as other classes, but it is still nice to learn about these various platforms.
My to-do list just keeps on growing and growing, and I feel that the amount of “have-dones” just aren’t keeping up. Post-notes make up a colorful melee of now illegible text all over my desk and monitor and my excel to-do list glares more reds (not done) than greens (finished). Youth Leadership Conference is in 16 days and there is still SO much to do! I just need more time to work on the handbook with CL. Really – where does the time go? However, the 99 Ranch Market / Jade Ribbon reusable bag are clearly on first priority this week. There is so much work involved with contacting media, developing the programming, and being patient and persistent. I am very grateful for the interest and support that the ethnic media has shown, and I look forward to seeing them out in Cupertino on Friday. One cool note, we’re in the Korea Times: http://sf.koreatimes.com/article/537062
I’ll be heading to Google San Bruno tomorrow as the ALC’s third venture to increase awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer in their employee network. It’s the YouTube site, so I’m excited to see what the demographics that are there.
Learned today that TT got engaged, so that was super exciting! Congratulations to her and her fiancé! TT has been a strong supporter and advocate for hep B and liver cancer in the Bay Area Vietnamese community, and I’m happy for this next stage in her life.
Had lunch today with GH and EN at the Clark Center. It was great being able to steal away from work for a moment in the day to reminisce about college years and friendships. One particularly notable happenstance was when we all got different dishes and immediately began to portion them into thirds so we could all share. How I love friends, especially those who are like-minded! It was good seeing GH; her contagious enthusiasm and energy always brightens my day. And I learned the EN was also accepted into the Berkeley post-bacc program! Congratulations to him! 🙂 This piece of knowledge, apparently old news, reminds me that I need to redouble my efforts to connect with my good friends. I admit, that I have dropped off the face of the earth due to work and applications. Sorry about that! RN and I were briefly discussing the difficulty with balancing life and work, especially for workaholics like us. If anyone has any suggestions on how to do this, do let me know.
And to end today’s post, I do have some sobering, but important news: today at noon Commander Bok Pon died due to liver cancer induced by hepatitis B. He was a very big figure in the SF Chinese community, and many people will miss him. This is just another reminder that hepatitis B is still a very real and very deadly disease. In fact, every 30 seconds, someone dies of liver failure / liver cancer caused by hep B, and I strongly believe that by outreaching and educating our friends and family (even if it’s just talking to one person), we can prevent such needless suffering.
Thanks for reading!
So sorry that I missed yesterday’s posting. Thanks for reading and for your interest in my work and my experiences. Big shout out to SLC for his comment – really made my day. It was the first comment for this blog! Hopefully I’ll be following SLC’s footsteps soon with a white coat of my own.
Speaking of white coats, I have a thoughtful NYtimes article (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/health/21klas.html?partner=rss&emc=rss) that JK sent me about the dilemma that doctors face when they have to counsel on a health issue that they also struggle with themselves. In this case, the physician provides a very human take how to deal with such a challenge. It’s good food for thought for trying to practice what I preach, or at least admitting my own struggles with sustaining healthy habits.
On an exciting note, I’d like to highlight JC’s twitter about the 99 Ranch Market and Jade Ribbon Campaign effort. He tweeted about his visit one of the 99 Ranch Market stores in the SF Bay Area, and even posted pictures. Here is one of him with one of our Know HBV brochures (available in 6 languages and free of charge!). Thanks to JC for helping create increased conversation and awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer!
Twitter has actually been an interesting tool to use for hepatitis B work. As I’m taking these courses on Web 2.0 social media tools and branding, I’ve been approaching these social media platforms with an idea in mind of how I can utilize such a platform to advance hepatitis B awareness. This seems like an untapped frontier, and I’d like to help begin to create a space for hep B awareness. In fact, our YLC (which is in 17 DAYS!!) will focus on this. I know that most of my target audience (older Asian immigrants) do not use twitter or similar platforms; however, I see the value of targeting their children and grandchildren who do use such programs as a means to reach them. As I mentioned in my last post, having a relative or friend encourage their loved ones to get screened for hepatitis B will be so much more effective than I will ever be.
And as a side note, I have been using Twitter as a great tool to address anyone’s questions or concerns about hepatitis B and liver cancer through their tweets. It’s fantastic! Thanks, Tweetdeck’s great features.
As promised, a brief update on UP’s Vietnamese Parish Festival event. Although the number of people she and the volunteers saw wasn’t a huge number, they did provide quality education, which, in the end, is the purpose of outreach. Apparently, the weather was very hot, and attendance at the festival was low. However, I’m glad UP had the chance to run her own festival outreach event!
I spent most of the day (Monday) meeting with TC, NT, and UP about their various outreach projects, and I am happy to say that they are doing a fantastic job building relationships and foundations within their respective ethnic communities. Outreach work often has no immediate and tangible outcomes because our goals include developing behavior change. Furthermore, in order to really get into a particular community, building relationships with important community leaders and stakeholders requires time and patience. So, I hope they too recognize the great work they are doing to create a strong foundation for future outreach in the Korean, Filipino, and Vietnamese communities.
I also spent time on prepping with for the press conference on Friday contacting media and working on ad promotions. First 100 people who go to the Cupertino 99 Ranch Market on Friday between 2 PM and 6 PM and spend $50 or more will receive a free Jade Ribbon reusable bag! We’re hoping that this will help draw a crowd for the bag’s launch. I’m excited because 99 Ranch Market’s chief operating officer will be coming out to speak about their investment into building healthy communities!
And on a personal front, I learned how to create a dashed line in Photoshop. A simple feature, but I’m always excited when I learn how to do something new. 🙂 And, last but not least, I’d like to tell C, happy 8th.
Thank you for reading!
Hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I had a pretty event-packed weekend, and I’m just getting to sit down now to write about it! Here’s a recap of my weekend:
The day started off with heading to the Miss Asian America press conference at Ana Mandara restaurant in Ghirardelli Square in SF. I wasn’t keen on fighting traffic and searching for parking, so I decided to take public transportation via Caltrain and the Muni. I have always found working on the Caltrain particularly fruitful, and I worked on catching up on work email (I love the Gmail offline feature where you can sync things and have things work very similar to Thunderbird / Outlook). Big apologies to all those who I have not responded to – I’ll get back soon! While I was riding along, there was a group of obnoxious high school boys who were incredibly disruptive with their talks about how big their cars were (“Hey, I can fit my drum set, my two guitars, and three chicks in my car – how about you?”) and how intelligent they were. The wonders of what goes on within the mind of a high school male. Makes me very glad that I’m now out of college and my male friends have more interesting things to discuss (well, at least when I’m within hearing distance). The Muni was fine, but man, when it crosses the Chinatown area – yeesh! – so many Asian people crowd onto the bus. I became well aquainted with two older Asian ladies with five bags of groceries in each hand (now wouldn’t it have been more convenient for them to have a nice huge Jade Ribbon Campaign reusable bag? :p haha). When I got to Ghirardelli Square, I was rather famished and decided to try Kara’s cupcakes. It wasn’t bad – the frosting was whipped so it wasn’t sweet – definitely a plus over Sprinkles’ cupcake frosting – however, the cupcake itself was a bit on the sweet side. I got the mocha cupcake (paid $3.25!), and decided that I liked baking my own $.89 box of Betty Crocker cupcakes. But I AM in the Bay Area where these speciality stores are abundant, so might as well as take in the culture while I’m here.
The MAA press conference was pretty fun. Had the chance to chat with Rose more, and continue to build a relationship with her. It’s pretty amazing what she’s been able to build with this pageant and all the work she’s done in building the San Francisco Asian American community. I had a ball meeting the contestants and the escorts. Notable escorts were Jeff and Steven who took the time to chat with me, so big shout out to them! I also had the opportunity to meet and greet with reporters and other notables in the Asian community, so I was pretty excited about the event. The contestants appeared interested in the cause, and our jade ribbon pins looked very nice on their red dresses. It was very kind of Rose to say that they’ll be wearing the pins at all future events. I finally got a contact at Sing Tao Daily, so hopefully that will prove fruitful for the 99 Ranch Market press conference on Friday. Oh! And I got to use my business card holder I got from Daiso! It’s not the classiest thing in the world, but it is sufficient and helps me look more professional than me digging around my purse. After the MAA press conference, I beelined for Chinatown to get some delicious dim sum and devoured a mantou as I walked down the Stockton tunnel. The 30 and 45 bus lines were overcrowded so I decided to walk to my destination: Davies Symphony Hall. It was quite a walk considering I was lugging my JRC resuable bag filled with outreach swag, dim sum food, and a huge bag of cherries (only $.99 / pound!) and my laptop. But I suppose it was good advertising for the bag. :p Decided to stop by Ross, and I purchased a tan purse so I could have something that matched my outfits that weren’t black (and of course, the bag is good sized so I can fit everything in there). Then I went down Market street, which is scary even at 4 PM in broad daylight. I’m glad I didn’t decide to hang out at a Starbucks and walk down that street at a later time. I ended up at the San Francisco public library which was pretty impressive, and a place that I’d like to go and explore in more detail on a future visit to SF.
And now, to the main event of my Saturday evening: the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds symphony concert (http://www.ffdistantworlds.com/) by the world-renowned SF symphony orchestra. Met up with a good portion of my old archery teammates for the concert along with C and his crew. Thanks much to S for planning and organizing the event! It was an interesting experience because the music was accompanied by clips from the FF games. Definitely brought back memories and makes me want to go back and play the games again (read: huge time sink). The composer of the all the Final Fantasy game music was there, which was pretty cool – he had a very individual sense of fashion that made him stand out against the crowd. I really enjoyed hearing Terra’s theme (Final Fantasy 3 (the one with Terra) was definitely my favorite game!) and the encore piece Sephiroth!
Today was another jam packed ALC day. We had two events go on simultaneously: T’s Korean education and screening event and U’s Vietnamese Parishoners Festival. I really wish I was able to go to both, but alas, I headed out to the Korean event because there was a lot more logistical work involved with it. Overall, it was a pretty successful event in the sense that the parishoners really learned about the importance of hepatitis B and liver cancer in their community. In fact, after the education piece, people were getting their friends in the church who were unable to attend the education seminar to get tested. It was really neat to see people educate their friends about hepatitis B and why it was important that they all get screened. Education is so key to altering behaviour change. One thing that T and I need to do is hammer out logistics to help the education / research piece run more smoothly, and we had a good brainstorming session later in the afternoon. Hopefully the next screening (which will be much bigger) will run more smoothly on the registration end. The issue with working in an education AND screening event into a regular church Sunday is that people have other commitments (e.g. choir practice, etc) that prevent them from attending the seminar (which is really the point for us going out there) or the screening (which is secondary). We have only a finite period of time and we have to move things efficiently and quickly in light of lots of forms. N will be doing a similar venture with the Filipino community, and one suggesiton I had for her was considering the possibility of dividing the education and screening into two weekends so as to cut time down and give people the option of scheduling a specific time for their blood draw. But we will need to think about this more and consider it’s cost-effectiveness, too. In the past, when we did ethnic community education / screening events, we did them on Saturdays and the events were open to the public, so we didn’t have busy parishioners needing to stick to their regularly scheduled events – we WERE the event. But you learn something new each time, and it’s nice to be able to work with one church community at a time because they all get involved and that way, the message is promoted via friends, which inherently goes a lot farther than having someone like me stand on a soapbox. Hopefully we’ll be able to get T enough n for his research project!
On another note, U’s event seemd to have gone well, but I’ll update with more details tomorrow after I speak with her.
Another highlight today was going to the Milpitas Ranch 99 (yes, again) and seeing our posters up! I wasn’t expecting to see the posters hanging in the store, so it was definitely a delightful surprise!
I think one of my suggestions to T will be to ask if the cashiers can actively promote the bag (E.g. “Would you like to donate $2 to fight liver cancer and get a reusable bag?”) or at least put up an example so people can see useful the bag will be. But overall, I’m so impressed with how GENEROUS Ranch 99 has been. I was also very very excited to see an individual go up and grab a brochure (Know HBV) and read through it while he was walking out of the store (he’s pictured in the photograph I sneaked of him). One more person educated about hepatitis B! Tomorrow will be confirming press to come to the press conference on Friday at Cupertino. I’m also trying to sit down and work on YLC material since we need to get the handbook in NOW. C has been working hard and coming into the office on the weekends to get things done for the conference. I’m super excited, but there remains QUITE a bit of work to do.
On another note, GH is in town, and I’m going to catch lunch with her on Tuesday. And DS will be coming soon to film the second chatper of DCK, so that should definitely be fun. Can’t wait.
Alright, I need to sign off and get some eventual shut eye. Thanks for reading through this post, and take care.