David recently wrote to me to say that Jiwon, he and their mother Jackie have become Canadian citizens. Of course I was delighted, and asked for some photos from the January 25 ceremony. Here they are:
Ji Won looked great -- a big grin, a flawless complexion, and a twinkle in her eye. While she can't speak, she understands everything and takes an active part in the conversation. "Yes" is a smile; "no" is closed eyes. Her hands remain clenched into fists, but she has more control over her left arm, and used it to rub her forehead.
The family has seen some successes this year. David is now working as an accountant in Coquitlam. He has an apartment there and comes home on weekends -- usually on Saturday evening, his mother told me, after spending the day studying for his CGA.
Jackie herself won a prize as best student in her VCC ESL class, and her English is very good. "But my English writing is not good," she told me.
The purpose of this fundraiser is to raise money for people in British Columbia living with a brain injury. The money raised will aid in their recovery through innovative therapy treatments. It will also be used to help people with brain injuries to re-establish their friendships and re-build their social independence.
The event is at The Mill Bistro, at the bottom of Bute in Coal Harbour, from 7:00-10:00 pm on Wednesday, January 27.
Last week Ji Won and her family were the subject of a news story on CityTV, Channel 13. The story showed her doing speech therapy and drawing. And today, Sunday, the Vancouver Province has a story about her also: Art therapy eases road to recovery. It includes a photo of Ji Won and another photo of one of her drawings.
An article in The Tyee describes how "Take Back the Night" Takes Back the Park. Stanley Park was chosen because of what happened to Ji Won, and she was an active participant in the event. The story includes a photo gallery with a picture of Ji Won.
I visited Ji Won and her family again this morning. It was very enjoyable, though David had severe allergies. We talked about all kinds of things: travel, books, politics. I learned that Ji Won loves Sherlock Holmes stories!
They had some good news: A new van, equipped to handle Ji Won's wheelchair, will soon arrive. The family hopes to visit Seattle later in the summer, and we discussed the possibility of traveling by train instead of having to drive. And I took some photos of Jackie and Ji Won.
I had a long visit this morning with Ji Won, Jacki, and David. The purpose was to interview them for an article I'm writing for The Tyee. I learned a lot, and the first draft of the article is already finished. When it's published, I'll create a link to it from here.
In the meantime, here are a couple of photos I took.