Sean’s 10th Birthday

We celebrated Sean’s 10th Birthday at Petroglyph, a local paint-your-own pottery studio.  It was a fun afternoon for everyone, especially for Sean.  It was his first time painting ceramics.  He decided to paint an ice cream cone, his favorite dessert.  And as a gift, the staff at Petroglyph painted him a custom Angry Bird dinner plate.  Needless to say, he was thrilled when he saw the final products.  Judging by his smiles, it was a memorable and happy birthday!

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Sept 30, 2011

Today is my big sister Cheryl’s birthday.  She would be 46 years old if it weren’t for Cancer.  Last year, we went to the Afghani House (her favorite restaurant) for her birthday dinner.  She insisted on treating the meal, as if she knew.  Ironically, it’s a gift we won’t be able to reciprocate this year.  One week later, she learn of the fateful news that would change everything.

For a family that at times was too busy to make time for each other, birthday celebrations were that much more special.  It reminded us that we were a family, and it renewed the family bond  that at times was very fragile.  This year, we won’t be celebrating Cheryl’s birthday.  There’s an eerie feeling that permeates through out the family, but no one wants to talk about it.

Perhaps it’s superstition or simply inappropriate to celebrate the birthday of a love one who has passed away.  In any case, she is not forgotten and I just want let her know that we are still very much missing her.

Happy Birthday Cheryl!

A Busy Summer

Wow, this Summer break flew by.  While the adults were busy packing and moving from our old home to our new home (pic), Sean attended summer school and participated in a number of activities including swimming, tennis, and field trips to local attractions.  In his spare time, he also enjoyed playing his iPad.

He will be starting 4th grade this week at a new elementary school.  It will be just 1 block walk from our house.  Although he is a bit nervous about his new teachers and school mates, he is looking forward to returning to school.

I hope everyone had a good summer.  Sean wanted to share the following with you:

This is what I did over the summer.

I went to swimming this summer.  I learned tennis.  I  went to summer school.  During summer school I went to watch Cars 2.  I went to Six Flags and a carnival.  I watched a fireworks show on Independence Day.  I went to see Uncle’s marathon finish.  I went to the Tech Museum and the Children’s Discovery Museum.  I moved to the new house and got my own room!  And finally I got a preview of my new school.

Overall it was a very interesting and busy summer.


Running For A Cause

Dear Friends,

On July 31st, I will be running in the San Francisco Marathon (26.2 miles) for a very personal cause; to raise awareness of cancer and to honor the memory of my sister whose life was cut short by it.  She was only 45 years old and full of life.

When I ran in my first San Francisco Half Marathon last July, my sister Cheryl and her son Sean were there to cheer me on.  Little did I know then that she would not be around to watch me run the full marathon this year.  She was diagnosed with late stage cancer last October.  Unfortunately, despite her strong will and advances in cancer treatment, my sister lost her fight to cancer in February of this year.

It has truly been a life changing event.  Over a short time span, I have experienced first hand the emotional and physical impact cancer can have on the patients, their families, and their friends.  From the initial diagnose and prognosis; through the numerous doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy sessions, visits to the hospital for blood work, and even a surgery to remove the cancer growth; to the final phase when her body (but never her spirit) succumbed to the cancer, all my family and I ever prayed for and hoped for was a cure or just a bit more time for my sister.

Cancer is a very nasty disease, and unfortunately too many people’s lives are changed forever or even lost because of it.  Cancer can affect people of  all ages, physical fitness, and health conditions.  Per the LIVESTRONG foundation, over 28 million people world wide are living and coping with cancer.  And this year in the U.S. alone, over 1.5 million people (new cases) will be diagnosed with cancer and over 1/2 million people will die from cancer according to the American Cancer Society.  It’s hard to imagine the impact of these statistics unless you have been personally affected by it.  But I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone.

I’m writing you and running to raise awareness, in the hope that one day there will be a cure not just for the common types of cancer that affects the larger population, but also the rare forms of cancer such the one that left my sister with little chance of survival.  While I do not fully understand the physiology and the medical research behind cancer, one thing I have learned from this experience is that early detection and access to the right treatment is absolutely key to survival and overcoming cancer.

This is a fight that can be won, but it needs to be a priority.  There are many great organizations and research institutions whose charter is to education people about cancer and to advance the research on cancer.  Until there is a cure, individuals like you and I need to be vigilant and be educated.  We can help the cause by learning about cancer and spreading the word among relatives and friends.  As I mentioned previously, early detection is key.  Who knows, your action may just save someone’s life one day.

Lastly, if you believe in the same cause, please also consider making a monetary donation to one of the many great cancer organizations.  I will be running in the San Francisco Marathon in 2 weeks and I hope to raise some funds for the American Cancer Society.  I would be extremely honored if you are able to contribute to my cause.  Any amount helps.  And knowing I have your support, I will be re-assured that I am not running alone in the fight to end cancer.  Thank you for your attention and support!


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