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NiNi – Cerebral Palsy

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I met NiNi, one of the cerebral palsy clients from Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center. Nini is 38 years old and was born in Rangoon, Burma. She has Cerebral Palsy. It caused during her birth. The doctor couldn't get to the hospital in time, NiNi was suffocating and her body was blue when she came out. In Burma, the doctor didn't take good responsibility back then, no operation, no oxygen equipment and the doctor left the room as soon as he heard NiNi cried. The doctor didn't show up for 3 days after the birth and didn't know that Nini was unconscious for 5 days. When she was one year old, they learned that she had Cerebral Palsy because she couldn't stand, walk and talk. She could stand better when she was 7, but she falls a lot untill this age. The family moved to America in 1989. NiNi joined movement therapy class before she started her school in America. Also they learned that swimming is very good for her balance. Her waist is very weak so walking in the water is the best exercise for her balance. She has been swimming since 1991 and she loves it so much. She wanted to be involved in the Underwater Transformative Photography Project because she likes to challenge and learn new things. Nini waits until the pool clears. She couldn't wait to jump in the water! Mother and daughter :) "I was  so excited in the beginning and it was a little scary. Water felt...

ICEBAT 2018 International Conference Evidence Based on Aquatic Therapy

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April 2018, ICEBAT International Conference Evidence Based on Aquatic Therapy was held in Las Vegas, CA. It was their first time having a conference in United States! I was so ready to show my work, share my story and connect with everybody through our passion. Arrived! So Vegas...I haven't been here for over 20 years! After I checked in my hotel, I had lunch with my friend, Michiko who I haven't seen for over 20 years. So good to see her and catch up! We are both old now but still young inside.. (almost too young) Cold udon was declious! Her husband is a veteran and he is willing to help spreading the word of underwater transformative photography to other veterans. I really appreciate their support! When I got back to the hotel, I had to start setting up my booth. It was challenging to hang the big banner! I feel like I needed something more water texture instead of the brown wall... Always something come up at the last minute! Next day! Starting soon- People are so curious about my project but couldn't tell what it is until I explain to them. I have to have a clear message saying it's a survivors' underwater journey to transform... or something like that? And also I need a video display next time!   The main reason for being at this conference was to meet Dr. Bruce Becker. I admire his research study on warm water and brain. I finally got to meet him in person! I hope to keep in touch...

Spinal cord injury survivors’ underwater transformation on Abilities.com

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“No water, no life. 💧 No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle Abilities.com Abilities connects the disability community to live and online resources that promote greater independence. Underwater therapy combines total immersion with portrait photography to reinvigorate the body and elevate attitudes. Please read the article...

Transforming into a water dancer

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"The secret to happiness is freedom...And the secret to freedom is courage" -Thucydides Beast cancer survivor “My name is Laurie. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34 that was already metastatic to my bones. Water has always meant freedom to me. It means the freedom to go somewhere new. A new place to spend a vacation, free from everyday worries. A new place to be creative, free from gravity. A new place in my mind, free from self judgement.” Please read her beautiful story and more images from here. Since after the underwater session, she's been going back to the water 5-6 times a week to enjoy being submerged. I'm happy to hear the result of underwater transformative session changed her life style. She got so many pretty...

Los Angeles 2017

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Let's go to Los Angeles!! It's been awhile- WooHoo- I love traveling! First stop, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary! One of my bucket list to see beautiful wolves! Hmm...The sign needs to upgrade... It was SO hot out (more than 100F). Wolf said, "Human time..(sigh) my early shift begins with these two...(sigh)" "HEY, heeey human, where are my carrots!!??" I brought carrots (organic!) for them but I was not allowed to feed them at that time :( "HEY human, got it, got it! I'll pose...where are my carrots?" The guide repeatedly told us they are not dogs. But you know....I want one!!! His big face didn't fit for selfie- "Carrots?" There was one more human friendly wolf. She is 15 years old, an oldest wolf at the sanctuary. "Oh hey, human:)" She was a friendly grandma. Just like this! I was so happy to meet 11 wolves. They were rescued from hunting in Alaska and from abusive owners. We found a cafe 247 for lunch. Home made Chiiiips! As soon as I got to the Airbnb, I had to jump in the water to rejuvenate! Next stop, Natural History Museum! Next stop, Anime Expo!!!! Check out the VIZ Media Blog! SO MANY people! I heard it was twice much bigger than last year! At the Food Wars panel, the creator, Yūto Tsukuda had to challenge some American snacks: Spicy Cheetos! It was a huge surprise for me when they played a manga trailer I worked on!!! I got super emotional seeing and hearing fans' reactions. The creator loved it, that means a lot! Thank you so much!...

Medical conference 2017

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It was one of my dreams to be part of medical/health field. My work was displayed at a medical conference!! They look gorgeous!! Thank you for your continuous support! ガン関連のメディカルコンフェレンスで 私の作品とバックストーリーがギャラリーに飾られました!3年連続での サポートありがとうございます😊!! Please read a story of a breast cancer survivor, JoAnn. Please read a story of a stomach cancer survivor, Steve, a breast cancer survivor Kim and a testicular cancer survivor Scott Please read a story of a thyroid cancer survivor Pauline and a brain cancer survivor...

What does WATER mean to you?

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A fashion model/free diver, David Langlois says, "Freedom. Being in the water make me think more about the present." An underwater Model, Linnea Snyderman says, "Being underwater is home. It is where I feel at peace and no worries from the outside world can penetrate." A model/free diver, Everlayn Borges says, "Water is the essence of infinite LIFE in every sense of the word." A competitive pro free diver, Ashleigh Baird says, "Water is pure joy. When I'm free diving it offers a way to quiet my mind and look deep within and listen to my body. It's a meditative experience, and nothing else does that for...

Academy of Art University

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Back in 2001, I graduated from Academy of Art University as a New Media major. And few month ago I was interviewed by the editor from AAU and it was published! I was so happy to see the article! The article is online now! Please check it out! "Ever since she was a little girl, Erena Shimoda fantasized about being a mermaid and calling the ocean her home. As an adult, she felt like her childhood dream had almost come true the first time she went scuba diving during a trip to Honduras 14 years ago. "  - See more at:...

Florida Trip Report 2017

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I've never been to Florida before so I was super excited! I got all the good luck stickers on my bags and I was ready for the new adventure! I arrived in Orlando and drove 2 hrs north to meet my friend in Geinsville.  Jamaican jerk chicken was delicioius!! This town reminded me of CA.  I met a lot of cool people through my friend all night!  And it was actually COLD there!! The live band was awesome too! The next day, we went to Ichetucknee state park. And first thing I saw was this warning... I think I still have 2 arms and 2 legs... The spring was beautiful!! 72F all year long! The next early morning, I had a trip to see Manatees!! It was one of my bucket lists! It was a beautiful misty morning I saw them!!! They were so cute!! A post shared by Underwater_Beauty_SanFrancisco (@erenashimoda) on Feb 21, 2017 at 8:53am PST Then I went to Weechi Wachee to see mermaids!! This spring theatre is around for 65years! Beautiful show! I wanted to be a mermaid when I was little. This place is giving hopes and dreams for everyone. The next morning was the big day! I met a cancer survivor, Les at Devil's Den! This place is a magical spot! If you are interested in scuba diving, you should get an open water certificate from this place. The instructor, Don was so friendly and supportive to my project. I highly recommend this place! Les is 52 years old and was born and raised in Maryland. He lives in Florida...