Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mom's Night Out

Usually, in answer to the question, "Where's your mom?" Thien Nhan says, "She's at work, getting money to buy me food!" -- an answer he came up with all by himself. But last night when a friend of his mom's phoned and asked if Mai Anh was at work Thien Nhan said: "No! My mom is out having fun!"

"He knows everything," says Mai Anh. "He's like a little policeman."

Monday, July 28, 2008

Kung Fu Thien Nhan

On Sunday night, Thien Nhan, his dad and his two big brothers went to see "Kung Fu Panda" at a big new movie theatre in Hanoi. It was the first film that Thien Nhan had ever seen on a big screen and he was very excited and impressed by the cartoon's action scenes and the surround-sound.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Special Guests

Last week Thien Nhan enjoyed a visit from Adarsh Bala and his dad Mr. Balasubramanian, both from Singapore. A friend of cartoonist CC Lee's, Adarsh was in Hanoi for business and stopped by to visit Thien Nhan and his family, bearing well-wishes and toys for the three kids.

Upon returning home, Adarsh wrote the following note to Thien Nhan's family:

My Dad and I already miss Thien Nhan greatly. We had a very enjoyable time playing with him in your home. I will definitely be back in Hanoi before the end of this year to see Thien Nhan again. Please give my love and regards to your husband, little Minh and big Minh, your mother-in-law and your cousin and her friends, and of course, last but not least, my darling little Thien Nhan.

Lots of love,


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

After about four months of hard practice, Thien Nhan has learned how to balance on one leg. He is very proud of this new ability and called his dad into the room to come and see when he first perfected the move. The better Thien Nhan's balance and the stronger his good leg, abs and spine, the easier it will be for him to learn to walk on his prosthetic leg.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gifts to Cherish

Along with generous cash donations and toys, for his second birthday, Thien Nhan received some unusual gifts. One of his supporters in the US wrote and performed a song just for Thien Nhan. Titled "Incredible Things", the song tells of love, happiness and Thien Nhan's miraculous survival. Meanwhile, Papa Eric of Singaporean parenting forum sent Thien Nhan a "virtual birthday cake". And Thien Nhan's maternal grandma, or Ba Ngoai, a retired literature professor, wrote the tot a touching letter welcoming him to the family and expressing their love for him.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Magical Evening

Thien Nhan is still smiling about his second birthday party, which was everything that a little boy could dream of. A beautiful birthday cake, sumptous buffet, baloons, gifts, and even a magician helped to make the night perfect. Many thanks to the Le Club for their generosity, and to everyone who contributed to the VND80 million (US$4,770) raised at this magical event!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Two Candles

Thanks to the Le Club in Hanoi, Thien Nhan's second birthday party was a huge success, attended by around 100 adults and many more children. The birthday boy loved the large crowd and all the attention, and blew out the candles on his first-ever birthday cake as though he'd done so many times before. "He was so cheerful and confident," says Mai Anh. "A lot of kids stick by their mom in a crowd, but not Thien Nhan. He went around hugging the other kids, giving them candies and acting like the perfect host." Here's Thien Nhan (front center) with some of his friends.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thien Nhan Turns Two!

Happy Birthday Thien Nhan! The resilient toddler turns two years old today and his friends and family around the world are helping him to celebrate. Luke from Singapore sent Thien Nhan the special birthday drawing at left, while cartoonist CC Lee, also of Singapore, sent in the latest donations he collected from his readers and colleagues --US$2,176, plus an extra $324 from Lee. That's an amazing birthday present! Tonight, Thien Nhan will enjoy his first-ever birthday party.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Thien Nhan's second birthday will be a lot brighter thanks to comic artist CC Lee and his generous supporters in Singapore.
To date, Lee has raised US$12,022 from his readers and colleagues, AND has chipped in more than $600 of his own money, not to mention his time and talent. We hope that one day Thien Nhan will get to meet his Uncle Lee and say "cam on" in person. Thank you Singapore!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hello Oprah...

Want to help spread the word about Thien Nhan's fight for a better life? This September Thien Nhan will be in Chicago, USA, where he will receive state-of-the-art prosthetic care at the Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute.
Famous for its hot dogs and jazz clubs, Chicago is also home to Oprah Winfrey, and we want Thien Nhan to meet her. Please help us to bring Thien Nhan's story to Oprah's attention by clicking on and sending Oprah a brief email outlining his case. It only takes a few minutes.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Birthday Boy...

Next week, on Tuesday July 15th, Thien Nhan will celebrate his second birthday. The kind folks at the Le Club & Dep Magazine are throwing a birthday bash to help celebrate -- and to raise some more much-needed funds for Nhan's planned trip to get surgery in the USA. If you're in Hanoi, please get in touch with the number on the bottom right of the invite and come and wish Thien Nhan "Happy Birthday!"

Friday, July 4, 2008

Game Night

Thien Nhan and his brothers, Big Minh and Little Minh, love little more than an outing to the local Game Arcade. For a really special treat their dad takes them to KFC--newly arrived in Hanoi--afterwards. Rides, video games and junk doesn't get much better for a little city kid... Seeing Thien Nhan now it's hard to believe that just 4.5 months ago he was living in a shack without running water on a remote mountain slope.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Serious Efforts

Thien Nhan takes his walking lessons very seriously, and spends most of each day trying to balance on his prosthetic limb. Although this practice is uncomfortable and no fun, at just under two years old he already knows that it's in his best interest. While the limb is very easy to put on and off, Thien Nhan is convinced that his grandma does not know how to remove it correctly and often prefers to wait until his dad or Uncle Hoan come home to unbuckle him. Most evenings his dad takes the boys for a stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake (left).

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cover Boy

Hanoi-based lifestyle magazine Timeout put Thien Nhan on its June 30th cover. When presented with a copy of the magazine Thien Nhan pointed at the photo and exclaimed, "That's me!"