Welcome to San Francisco!

Well, it’s been a while, but I have the most exciting news. Last week, on Sunday, November 2, 2008, the Asian Liver Center held the very first Asia and Pacific Alliance to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis (APAVH). It teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to host this event in San Francisco, attended by authorities on hepatitis B from all over the world.

As the one high school student among dozens of distinguished-looking professionals (and, of course, the lovely ALC staff and interns who helped put this all together), I must confess I practically drooled. My mouth was open the whole time, greeting these awesome people, learning their names as they registered, explaining the meaning behind the jade ribbon when they asked. Oh yes, and sneaking for myself tidbits of the breakfast platters we set out for them.

This was definitely a well-organized event, and from what I saw, the attendees loved it. Our very own Dr. So gave a presentation alongside WHO representative Dr. Manju Rani, and assemblywoman Fiona Ma attended, as well as AsianWeek editor Ted Fang, who had to rush off to China right after. One man from Portugal inquired about getting our brochures and even our super-trendy “Team HBV” shirts! Talk about going global, perhaps the ALC should consider starting its own fashion line. Sort of like what Gap does with (PRODUCT) Red. And just to throw it out there, the Janet Zola from the SF Department of Public Health complimented my burgundy-colored peep-toe heels. Yes, they are burgundy. See, I think we have potential here.

I feel so blessed to be a member of the JRYC. This is the kind of volunteer opportunities we get! It’s so exciting to work with the ALC and learn how we operate on an international scale as well as a local one, where we usually help people within our community get low-cost screenings and vaccinations. Team HBV is getting bigger: next stop, Portugal and their delicious egg tarts!

Love, Cerena

P.S. Someone should bring these to our next meeting. Hint hint.

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