Thursday, January 21, 2016

Case Study #22 - Woan-Harn Running a Race

"Woan-Harn Running a Race" 30" x 24" Oil on Canvas
Woan Harn lives in New Taipei City, Taiwan, which is a beautiful and humane country, welcoming to friends to come to Taiwan to vacation. She recalls a time when in her youth, she found herself with the realization that she appeared different (café au lait spots). At the age of 22 and after some searching and medical examinations, she learned that she had neurofibromatosis. She had a very large tumor on her neck. The doctors said at the time: there is no medicine to control and no treatment. They were not going to operate on it as it was too risky--the tumor was intertwined with nerves in her neck.This left her feeling quite depressed, almost every night wanting to tear her face, feeling so miserable.
Prep Sketch for Woan-Harn Running a Race (我的生命歷程與自我價值)

Woan-Harn was lucky because as well as close friends came the support and encouragement from the Sunlight Foundation and Accton Public Museum assistance, so that was like having another NF friend. These organizations provide the opportunity for fellowship together and share feelings with each other. The Sunlight Foundation and the National Taiwan University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital also holds occasional free clinic and medical lectures, through talks and clinic activities, so the NF community can better understand ourselves.

Because of this, Woan-Harn thought she wanted to help more people, and therefore decided to engage in Social welfare work. She joined the Spiritual Child Development Center, which gave her insight into different life experiences, and her colleagues also gave her a lot of encouragement and positive support, and empowered her to believe that feel that she can do the things she want to do, and have the ability to help other NF friends!

Woan-Harn feels very fortunate in assisting the Sunlight Foundation, Accton Public Museum, by recruiting several NF friends, asking professional social workers, psychologists, and even a theater teacher, to help the foundation focus on activities around:leadership, empathy and care, etc. In the process of these meetings, everyone grew lot, and after nearly three months of intensive training and meetings, finally gave birth to a new NF centered charity: "Peas Dragon Association" (Sunshine nerve fibroma patients Association). In Woan-Harn's words, "I hope to be able to scale new heights, more patients understand the operation and service groups, want to work more with their own specialty, so then to school in professional courses, in addition to their own work of in progress, the practice of social work courses, let me on the operation of non-profit organizations and patients will be more understanding, hopes one day was officially established as a corporation aggregate organization."

Sunshine neurofibroma patients Association, after nearly four years after the operation has really helped, because Li Ming Ren a physician at National Taiwan University Hospital, (which is a deep sleep fraternity organization) has been unable to meet many NF family. This association has helped and still wants to upgrade to better and more comprehensive services, and Fellowship members also throughout the province, want to build our strengths, to form associations, the Association through organizational strength, help more Taiwanese NF patients to see their hope for the future.

Under the assistance of the Sunlight Foundation, Accton Public Museum, National Taiwan University, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, was officially established in 2010 the Corp. Taiwan neurofibromatosis association (  This nonprofit's aim for NF is to care and encourage patients to support each other, in medical research on the breakthrough, and play the role of the advocate in health education in the community, so that the public, government agencies will experience more empathy, acceptance of NF, and help those with NF to make friends regardless of in life or work, social in, can enjoy equal treatment.

In Woan-Harn's words:
Let yourself grow a lot, no longer suffering from illness, more courageous in the face of their future life! To pursue the life you want!

In order to make myself more healthy and more dynamic, I began to participate in road race events, from three kilometers, five kilometers, seven kilometers, ten kilometers, under the cumulative twelve kilometers completed (First half horse) my life in 2014 twenty-one kilometers. In order to prepare 21 km road race, I attended the training group, as well as its own practice and adjustment. I think if you believe, you can achieve the purpose. In the running process, I am aware of  my breathing, I pay attention to the pace and watch my mind, but also to enjoy the wonderful scenery on the way of each race.

Persistence in the end, let me have the courage to not give up a successful road race of my dreams, I think, a miracle of life, is to rely on myself and create success, people have unlimited possibilities.

Let more people know NF, with our stories, hope for the future in Taiwan, to encourage more people, thank you for Rachel.


I think if we really want, we can be able to succeed! My future is the most beautiful!
Know they are not alone, because I want to share the joy, to my friends!