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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...

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...

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:...

UCSF event was successful!

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It was a successful day at UCSF cancer event, Taste for the Cure: A Taste of Science Each year, UCSF puts on an annual Taste for the Cure event at the Jewish Community Center. Aimed at patients, their families, and the community, the event shares resources and research on breast cancer as well as tips and food samples for eating healthy during and after cancer. I met beautiful survivors, fighters and supporters who are interested in working with me. I hope to hear exciting news coming soon! Wish me luck! I also purchased a book from BAYS! One of the cancer survivors, Sara is one of the writers. I was folding origami cranes at the event. So many people loved them and took them home. 1000 cranes are the symbol of our project, Undewater Healer About Face. Thousand Origami Cranes (千羽鶴 Senbazuru) is a group of one thousand origami paper cranes (折鶴 orizuru) held together by strings. An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by the Gods. Some stories believe you are granted eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. I was folding origami cranes to wish every cancer fighters and survivors get better and stay strong forever. #1000cranes #1000wishes...

Stop by this Saturday – UCSF cancer event, Taste for the Cure

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Taste for the Cure: A Taste of Science I'm excited to announce that I'm a part of UCSF event on Saturday, 10/1. I'll be showing Underwater Healer About Face to cancer survivors, fighters and supporters at the table . Please stop by and say hello!  Click here to find out! In Honor of Debby Hamolsky, RN, MS In the spirit of Debby’s decades of commitment to emotional and educational support for women with breast cancer, our panel topics will focus on personalized screening and treatment and living well during and after cancer. Between panels, join us for science demonstrations, healthy food tastings, and updates on trials and programs available through the Breast Care Center. This educational event is free and open to all. After nearly 30 years at UCSF, nurse coordinator Debby Hamolsky is leaving us for her next adventure. Please join the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center in honoring her legacy with a day exploring food, science, and breast...

Meet Sara, a breast cancer survivor

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I had an amazing day working with an adorable couple who wanted to celebrate their 10 anniversary under water and after that, I got to work with a beautiful breast cancer survivor, Sara. She was born and grew up in the south bay, and have been living in San Francisco most of her adult life, other than going to Berkeley for undergrad and UCLA for law school.She was iagnosed breast cancer in December 2015, when she was 38. After the photo shoot, she said, "I totally would recommend underwater portrait to other survivors! For survivors, I think it's an experience that can help you feel strong and confident again, especially because Erena was so warm and encouraging. It is a nice escape from thinking about cancer. It also is a moment where you can feel like you're in control and you're guiding the concept and deciding what to do, instead of being told what's happening to you and your body by doctors. It's a fun "appointment," instead of all the mandatory doctor appointments that poke and prod you. I think it also would be a great experience for anyone, not just survivors. It is such a unique, artistic experience and different way of seeing yourself." Thank you so much, Sara for being a part of this beautiful project to inspire other survivors and everyone in the world. Her underwater transformative images are stunning! I can't wait to show them to you...

Underwater Healer on NBC Bay Area

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Last week brain cancer survivor Maya and I were interviewed live by Robert Handa of NBC Bay Area (KNTV Channel 11) to discuss my Underwater Healer project and her transformation. It aired this past Sunday morning on Asian Pacific America and is finally online to share with you! The interview was incredibly fun and also full of surprises. When I arrived at the studio I discovered it was not a taping, but live! I was a little nervous, knowing there would be no editing if I stumbled my words, but this situation is exactly what I’ve been working towards in my public speaking practice. It was hard, but it turned out great in the end. In addition to the studio interview, NBC followed me to Maya’s underwater shoot to capture  behind-the-scenes of an underwater portrait shoot. I’m so happy I was able to share the entirety of an Underwater Healer project, from start to finish, with others. Maya was a complete pro as well - from her underwater portrait shoot to the interview on Asian Pacific America.  Thank you Maya for sharing your story and transformation with us all! I’m very thankful to Robert and NBC Bay Area for giving me the opportunity to share my Underwater Healer project with their viewers. Be sure to watch the interview below and share with your...

New Testimonial – Maya

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Last weekend was incredible! Brain cancer survivor Maya and I were interviewed live by Robert Handa of NBC Bay Area (KNTV Channel 11) to discuss my Underwater Healer project and her underwater transformation. It airs Sunday, June 12, at 5:30am on NBC Bay Area or 6pm on NBC's COZI TV! so please set your DVRs and stay tuned for the full recap next week! Until then, I am happy to share Maya’s testimonial with you! “I planned for this photoshoot by meeting with Erena first about a week before the shoot. The meeting was to get to know each other and discuss possible outfits to wear. Erena explained the types of clothes that would or wouldn't work in an underwater setting, so my chosen outfits needed to reflect those requirements. I knew I wanted to do a dress that would look beautiful under the water as it flowed through it, as well as bright color to reflect a happy emotion. The experience was amazing. It was so quiet and peaceful as if I was in my own world without any worries or problems that often come with being out in the real world. I felt so free in such a serene environment that it was almost like experiences nirvana. Erena was great with guiding me through the process and explaining how certain fabrics would act in the water. This allowed to me to base my positions in the water from her advice. Overall, it was such a relaxed shoot that took away...

Meet Survivor Maya!

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Maya, a Brain Cancer survivor I have some exciting news to share! Tomorrow I have scheduled an underwater photo shoot with cancer survivor Maya and NBC Bay Area (KNTV Channel 11) will be covering behind the scenes!

I’ll have more to share next week on the news coverage, so this week I really wanted to introduce you to Maya. She’s a very special gem and I am very excited for our portrait session tomorrow! Maya Sycip, Brain Cancer Survivor, San Francisco, 23 “The name of the tumor found in my brain was called a “Grade III Anaplastic Astrocytoma” and it was about the size of an apricot. Overall I was very healthy and played sports all throughout high school so I was very athletic. However, I did suffer from migraines, but just thought it was normal because my mom has them. I found out August 28, 2012 (the second day of my sophomore year at Loyola Marymount University) in my On-Campus housing apartments. That Tuesday morning, while I was still sleeping, I had a seizure and my roommates called 9-1-1. I was diagnosed when I was 19. (I) had emergency brain surgery the very next morning after I was diagnosed. On June 13, 2016, I will have officially been in remission for 3 years.” Why do you want to be involved in Underwater Healer About Face? “I’d like to be involved in the Underwater Healer About Face because I’ve never done anything like it before and I still have some healing to do of my own.  I’m hoping...

One FREE Underwater Portrait Couple Shoot this Saturday!



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Are you and your partner in, near, or can get to San Jose THIS Saturday (May 21st, 2016) at 11 AM? If so, I have one FREE underwater portrait session for ONE COUPLE! I'm looking for a couple who wants to improve the communication, connection, teamwork and confidence through underwater portrait photography. The underwater portrait session includes one Skype consultation, one 30 minute pool photo shoot and requires one short testimonial (written Q&A and video) after the fact. You'll receive one image and by agreeing to this free shoot the image will be used by me on my website and on my social media channels. This opportunity does not come around often, I would jump on this if I were in your shoes!

Unsure what you might be getting yourself into? Here is a testimonial from one couple that has participated in an underwater portrait shoot with me: How was the communications for the photo shoot and during the session? “Initially, we were going to just ‘go with the flow’. I did do some research on different poses as a back up (in case I felt unsure what to do with my body). It was a tremendous amount of teamwork and understanding to be able to carry (this) out underwater. So much multi-tasking goes on…. its a task to execute sometimes. However, its gets easier when someone shares the same goal and view.” Did you guys talk about the photo session after? What did you talk about?
 “How we enjoyed ourselves. It was true quality...