The Sublime ALS Challenge

Two nights ago I got nominated by Diana Luong to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. For those of you that has been living under a rock, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is, ironically, the hottest social media trend this July / August 2014. While the challenge wasn’t originally associated with ALS, it sure has created a huge buzz on social media and the ASL Association has benefited quite a bit from it.

To be quite honest, I’ve been living under a rock myself. I didn’t know what ALS was and was only intrigued to learn about it after seeing the trend.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. The sad thing about is, there is only one cure that has been approved by FDA.

This popular challenge has shine some light on this disease and the association reported that they’ve received over $31.5 million as of Aug 20 2014. That’s $29.6 million MORE than this time last year. It’s incredible and this is truly the power of social media when it’s put to good use.

For my submission, I decided to do something fun. I’m super thankful my buddy, Serge, agreed to help me out with the special effects at such short notice. The result is quite incredible. 

So have you done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? What’s your thought about this trend?

Burst of Gratitude

I like to things for granted. I like to think I reflect back to the past to learn and see what I’ve done and celebrate successes, but the truth is. I haven’t done so lately. It was a great wake up call when I got an email from someone in Edinburgh last week asking to get a little bit of my time to learn about my work. I said yes immediately because I was incredibly honoured to be recognized by people from across the pond, but a few minutes before the call I started panicking. What should I tell her? I don’t know if my experiences are good enough.

The call turned out great. She has done quite a bit of research about the work I do for the Ambassador program and familiar with my portfolio. She reminded me that it has been quite an accomplishment to get to where I am. But that’s not all. During the call, I remembered everyone that has helped me to get to where I am today. Without their help, there won’t be 544+ Ambassadors worldwide, there won’t be 80+ #SelfieSticks running around Vancouver, there won’t be fun and excitement in my world. I certainly hope one day I can thank each one of them accordingly. One hug and one call at a time.

From One Superhero to Another

In my last post, I talked about my excitement to fundraise money for Drop Zone and why I am passionate about it. After sending a few tweets and posting that Facebook post, I’ve achieved 22% of the $1,000 goal but I’m still far from done. Starting this week, I will start approaching institutions and companies to help me get there. To make the process easier, I put a quick one pager together to outline everything they need to know.

It would be sooo awesome if you could share this with your friends / colleagues as well. I’m hoping to raise $1,000 before September 8th! Thanks so much in advance.

Stoked to be doing @DropZoneVAN this year!

I’ve been looking for a way to give back to something I am passionate in. When I was presented the opportunity to fundraise $1,000 for Easter Seals (an organization dedicated to fully enhancing the quality of life, self-esteem and self-determination of Canadians with disabilities), I was intrigued. When I found out at the end of it, I get to rappel down a 20-stories building, I was sold. I signed up right away and that’s when I realized… how could I fundraise that much money?

While the event is still a few months away from today, I knew I had to get started right away. So I did. I started at the first place I could think of: Facebook.

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Shortly after posting it, the donations started to come in and I felt overwhelmed by the amount of support my friends have. To date, I’ve reached 20% of my $1,000 goal. Twenty percent and this is just the beginning! I still have 3 months to fundraise. It’s a remarkable feeling and so humbling at the same time. Also, I didn’t realize how much of a big deal 20 stories was until everyone said it! I guess I’ve skydived before so I always feel pretty invincible. Or maybe I’m too #YOLO? 

Anyways, so why this? Why this cause? Well I have a cousin that was born normal, slightly premature but normal. When she was just one or two months old, she rolled down the bed when she was with a babysitter. The babysitter didn’t tell my aunt right away, but my cousin kept crying and crying all night and her temperature went up significantly. So my aunt brought her to ER right away and next thing we know, she got really ill and doctors were giving up on her. My aunt and uncle were advised to let her go and prepare for her departure. They cried and cried and finally gave in and bought a coffin. By some miracle, my cousin never ended up in that coffin. She survived. But she became autistic and she still is until today. She can’t speak, can’t walk, can’t eat by herself but she can feel. We can see her eyes brightened up when she’s around people and when she has her favourite doll. Everyday her parents pushed her limit further by enrolling her in classes and taking her places. It breaks my heart every time I see her and I know there are many others that are like her, but not as fortunate as her. 

I’m currently looking for ways to give thanks to the donators. I have two ideas in mind that would work, just need to put it together and let it fly. It’ll be fun!

If you are interested in donating, please head over to my personal Drop Zone page

Videos of Julian’s Birthday & @CraftedVan’s Booth at #GotCraft

Once in awhile, I like to challenge myself and push my own boundaries, especially in a creative sense. Over the last year, I’ve starting to realize I enjoy filming. Though I’m not good at it, I always look for opportunities to practice and do more and this weekend, two opportunities showed up: 1) my nephew’s 5th birthday party 2) Craft’ed booth at GotCraft.

For the last few years, Julian’s birthday party has always been held at home and this was the first time it was held somewhere else. It was also my first time going to Koko’s so I had no idea what the lighting and the space was going to be like. To my surprise, the colours on the video turned out really well. Chasing after super hyper 5 year olds are not the easiest, so I mostly just filmed them when they’re sitting down and eating their food but I’m glad I got to capture some precious moments. This video was also a surprise for my sister who worked so hard to get all the decoration ready. Just look at how amazing everything is!

After the birthday party, I rushed to see a friend in Yaletown and since we didn’t end up shopping for long, I decided to check out GotCraft. When I got there around 4, it was pretty busy and the Craft’ed booth was one of the busier ones. I made my way there and said hi to the two creatives behind the brand, Erica and Diana. As expected, they have the biggest smiles as they greeted everyone to their booth. Their display and cute characters won my heart right away and made it so easy to film their booth. Again, I’m happy the colours turned out well and somehow I was able to handle the camera well this time. Usually I would get a shake or a jerk here and there, but this short video is just oh so smooth!

I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to film again because it’s just so fun. A great break from typing and staring at my computer all day :)

Thank you April

Earlier this year I said I want to be in the present. Although it is barely the main reason of why I am not writing my blog regularly anymore, it is one of them. The last two months I have been enjoying life to the fullest. I travelled to 4 countries and spent a month away from my day-to-day activities. For many crazy reasons, the month of April became the best month of my life. I got to travel, made amazing memories, met inspiring people, ate tons of delicious food, and learned a lot. Now that I am back to Vancouver, I am treasuring everything I have even more and am determined to spend every day discovering something. I don’t want to be caught up in a hamster wheel, just running mindlessly and achieving nothing. 

So thank you April, for being so kind and generous. You’re one amazing month.

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Arrived in Singapore!

I can’t sleep. I’m getting this first day of school jitters. While I’m not actually going to school tomorrow, I’m going to work at HootSuite’s Singapore office for a week starting tomorrow. I’ve been to Singapore many times when I was young, but I’ve never been here for work or let alone, by myself. So everything feels anew. 

For one, I’m staying at a small condo I found through AirBnB. It’s my first time renting through AirBnB and I must admit, I had my doubts. But as soon as I met the host, I felt home. She kindly carried my heavy luggage up the stairs, gave me a tour around the condo, and gave me so much information – where to go, where to shop, where to eat, and how to make my way around the area.

And tomorrow.. Tomorrow I’ll be working at the Singapore office with some of my favourite HootSuite folks. But I have one thing I’m quite worried about – what should I wear? Such a girly question, but seriously. I don’t know how people dress for work here in Singapore and I don’t know much about the office – do they have AC? 

So many questions, so many excitement! The last two months have been quite exciting, from travelling to Austin, to Jakarta, and now to Singapore. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me tomorrow.