Friday, March 16, 2007

On another street

Many of Blue Dragon's friends and supporters around the world know - or at least know about - a 15 year old boy named Quan, who has a benign but very large tumour growing on one side of his face. Just recently, I wrote about Quan here.

Quan is in Brisbane now; only a 10 hour flight, but a world away from his home in Hanoi. His mother, Trang, has come as well, and they are preparing for surgery this Saturday at Brisbane's Martyr Hospital. If all goes well, the tumour will be removed and Quan can get back to a normal life.

It's truly amazing how many people around the world have pitched in to help Quan. Some friends from Catholic Relief Services in America have donated money; Operation Smile in Australia has organised the doctor and the use of the hospital; and an Australian-Vietnamese family has provided free board and lodging for Quan and Trang for 6 weeks.

Over the last few days, some Vietnamese newspapers in Australia have written about Quan's journey and treatment. Since then, he has been approached by complete strangers, Australians of Vietnamese descent or origin, who want to help. I heard one story today of a man who saw Quan in a shop and tried to give him $20; he cared so much that his first instinct was to give. I know that Quan tried to refuse the money, but I am not sure who got their way!

A Blue Dragon volunteer, Skye, who has finished her volunteering assignment with us, is accompanying Quan and Trang on their trip. Even though she's exhausted after 12 months of intense work at the Blue Dragon centre, Skye is hanging in there for a couple more weeks to ensire that Quan and his mother are well taken care of.

What do Quan and Trang make of all this? I can't imagine. Such an outpouring of concern and compassion must be overwhelming, at the very least. Sadly, they are more used to discrimination and rejection than to random acts of kindness.

The above pic is of Quan and Skye, taken by a great friend, Alison Vidotto.

3 comments:

Caitlin said...

Will be keeping fingers crossed for a successful operation for Quan tomorrow. I'm sure that this is a life changing experience for Quan and his Ma whatever happens in the operation room!

Thi said...

Dear Blue Dragon,

After reading most of your entry in your blog this morning, I was so moved and touched on all the lovely children you have tried to help. I felt the urge to write directly and to say Thank you!!!

Last night, I attended for a few hours a dinner hosted by your organisation in Canely Vale. I was there to support my mothers dance performance. She mentioned it was for some charity.

To my surprise it was a charity that dealt with an issues that my my sister and I have felt very passionate about for many years -brought on by our 1st visit to our homeland Vietnam in 1998 since the war.

Being in our early 20's then, we were both your typical ignorant Vietnamese Australian. We heard many stories from our parents on how life was tough in Vietnam for our family. But it never really registered to compute in our brains.

We had everything going for us. We were educated, both had part time jobs to buy our so called designer clothes, had great friends and partied hard every week to release the stress of the western world. Did I say stress???.. Ha!... stress of juggling work and uni, stress of jugglings boys ect. These stress was nothing in comparison to what we witness in Vietnam.

Since then, my sis and I have always discussed, one day when the time is right - we would like to help out these poor children in Vietnam. It's been always on the back of our mind. My siblings and I were one of the lucky ones.

I am sure that many people have congratulated you. Being brave enough to tackle this huge issue. To give up so much of yourself to help others.

My only regret last night is that I didn't wait for 5 mins to say thank you in person.

Keep up the great work! We need more people like you and your team in this world. If we had 100 Blue Dragons, how wonderful will the world be eh?

BichLuu said...

I'm lucky to represent BD'staff to see off Quan to Noi Bai airport. I'm sure that after this adventure, Quan will be braver and more confident. And girls o'i, Quan must be more handsome:)