It is rainy and chilly in January 2013 in Hanoi, but the spirit of sunshine continues to live on. To bring in the New Year of 2013 we made a donation to Thuy’s Dream in the memory of Hoa. While I carried the donations and thoughts of many of Hoa’s friends, I was joined by Hoa’s mother where we made the annual modest donation of US$1,000 to an organization that is making a difference on the ground.

Thuy’s Dream remains a meaningful organization that provides support to children with cancer in Vietnam. More modest than the US-based Make a Wish Foundation, the organization works to bring sunshine into the lives of children dying with cancer and their families. Through annual parties and festivities and ordinary but no less significant visits to hospitals, the volunteers and organization workers aim to improve the lives of those with cancer. Vietnam disproportionately has an extremely high rate of cancer, believed to be a legacy of the wars, especially the war with America.

One of the most important events for Thuy’s Dream is the Sunshine Festival, where children and their loved ones can laugh and celebrate life. Hoa would have approved, as she continues to bring joy to those who remember her and reminense of moments of shared joy. Donating to Thuy’s Dream in the early days of the year is a fitting way to start 2013. Happy New Year to all!