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Helping Helen Huynh

$14,722 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 312 people in 22 months
Our mom Helen Huynh was diagnosed with the most aggressive form of leukemia on Feb 14, 2017.

Her health is declining quickly. Her only hope to survive was to get stem cell transplant from her sister who lives in Vietnam. Unfortunately, due to a flawed immigration policy, my aunt has been denied entry to the US 3 times.  

This fund is to help family members with attorney fees, expenses while taking time off work to help take care of Helen and other special needs family members.

If you need to reach me for any reason, please email me at yvonne.aivan@yahoo.com

Thank you for your support. Please keep our family in your prayers.

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Dear friends,
It’s been a bit over a year since my mom passed away (she passed away on 1/26/18). A lot of things happened since. At first it didn’t feel real to me. I felt like my mom on vacation in Asia, she’s just going on a much longer vacation than she usually does, so maybe I would see her in 6 months or so. I remembered I was so gung-ho about my mission to spread the word about our family’s story, I met with Congressman Lowenthal a couple of times, and we talked about creating an Emergency Medical Visa, and he said maybe I could meet with the new ambassador to Vietnam. I was being interviewed by more news network, and organizations across the world (BBC). There was a Vietnamese-American man that lives in Ohio that was facing a similar situation as us. He needed a kidney transplant, and his donor who lives in Vietnam, kept getting denied. I helped this man put his files together, I contacted his Congresswoman in Columbus, and connected her office to Congressman Lowenthal’s office. Within a month, this man’s donor got her visa approved, and she was on her way to Columbus to save him.
In a way, everything didn’t seem too bad. There were a handful of people who were facing similar situation like us that contacted me. I was working with them and with some investigative journalists to hopefully change the law. It actually started looking like a Hallmark movie. . .and then last May, Mother’s Day hit, and I. JUST. FELL. APART. I couldn’t eat (lost 25 pounds), I couldn’t sleep, I had bad anxieties. It took a toll on my marriage and my family. I saved just enough strength to make it through the work day so I could still support my family. I still had nightmares of my mom crying in pain in the hospital. I felt so guilty. I kept asking myself, what if I had started my campaign with the media sooner? Why did I waited 3 months/3 denials to do it? Could it have made a difference had I started after the first visa denial? And then last summer, I had to take a step back, took some time off work. . .to save myself from drowning.
Today, our family is still sad, but we are healing. We are getting used to our new routine. I am not gaining weight because I am not eating my mom’s amazing foods anymore. My sister Sharon, and my dad, and I take turns to provide care for our special-needs sister, Tiffany. Tiffany still misses our mom; she still cries before she goes to sleep. For me, it hits me randomly. Sometimes I would smell her perfume, or I would burst into tears when I hear my mom’s favorite songs playing.
I recently started working on my #CancerDoesntWait campaign again. A handful of people from all over the country reached out to me because their donors are getting denied too. These patients so far, are immigrants from Vietnam and the Philippines. I volunteer for A3M, a sub division of Be the Match, to get bone marrow/blood drive in the Vietnamese-American community in Orange County. I will send some updates along the way. We are no longer accepting any donations, but I’m leaving this page open, in case someone is facing a similar situation and need my help. If you would like to be involved, or have any feedbacks, or would like to help in anyway, please contact me at : Yvonne.Aivan@yahoo.com or 714-600-2546
Thank you again for all your amazing support. Have a meaningful Mother’s Day.
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Hello friends,
It's 3am. I get up at this time like I usually do since my mom's visa situation escalated. My family is still processing the situation. My sister, Tiffany, still doesn't understand mom passed away even though we tried to tell her. I have to correct myself from saying out of habit like telling my kids that we are going to grandma and grandpa's house. The first few nights, while praying with our children before bed, we have to stop asking God to heal my mom.
Facebook have been reminding us that a year ago, we were a giant happy family celebrating Lunar New Year. There were so many photos of my mom smiling widely holding her grandkids.
I started bawling the other day, when I was at lunch and I heard a popular, but sad Vietnamese song about celebrating VietNew Year ("Tet Nay Con Khong Ve"). It was a song about a soldier telling his parents he won't be home for New Year, because he doesn't want to leave his military brothers fighting by themselves. Mom won't be home this Vietnamese New Year (Feb 16). . .

If you would like to attend the funeral or viewing. Here's the info:

Location: Garden Grove Friends Church
12211 Magnolia St., Garden Grove, Ca 92841

When: Friday 2/9
Viewing 10am - 6pm

Saturday 2/10
Viewing 8am-10am
Service: 10am-12pm

Follow by burial at Westminster Memorial Park & Mortuary

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It is with great sadness, we announce the passing of our mother, Helen Huynh (aka Nguyen Thi Hoang). She took her last breath tonight at 6:51 at the City of Hope Hospital. She fought a fierce battle with leukemia for almost a year. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for all the support, love, and prayers through this difficult journey. Please continue to pray for our family. Our hearts are broken, and yet at the same time, are comforted that Mom is no longer in pain, and she is in the presence of God. See you later Mom. We love you always.
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Hi friends,
I am visiting my mom today on my 34th birthday. I realize that my mom was about my age when she first moved to the US. What a big change it was for her moving from Vietnam to a country she knew nothing about the custom and especially the language. It was so brave of my mom to leave all she knew behind, with the only goal of having a better future for my sister and I. Because my dad fought for South Vietnam, it was a common understanding that my sister and I would face discrimination had we remained in Vietnam. This is why my mom was so hard on my sister and I with our performance in school. Of course we didn’t comprehend the situation when we were kids.
Over the years, my mom worked hard to provide for the family, and took care of us 3 girls. We were not very nice to each other and it really upset Mom. The older I get, the more I understand where my mom was coming from.
This holiday season was hard for all of us. It was our first time celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, (and my birthday) with Mom in the hospital this year. As we reflected on our past year—it was a tumultuous year to say the least. But it humbled us and we are overwhelmed by the outpouring support from friends, families, and strangers from all over the world.
My mom is still at the City of Hope. The stem cell transplant was deemed as a success. She was cancer free—unfortunately, that lasted for only a couple of weeks. Her cancer has return. My mom received some chemo injections last week. She will have more procedure perform on her this week. She is still fighting for her life, for more time with her grand children.

We appreciate all your prayers and support.

My family and I, wish everyone a new year of happiness, health, and much more quality time with the ones you love.
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$14,722 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 312 people in 22 months
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TT
$15
Trinh To
17 months ago
$20
Anonymous
17 months ago
$20
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LH
$25
Lupe Hubbard
17 months ago
$10
Anonymous
17 months ago
AJ
$100
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
17 months ago
KN
$150
Khanhi Nguyen
17 months ago
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$30
Peter Nguyen
17 months ago
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