Jessica Lum passed away recently. I met her when she interviewed me for an article (link to that article) in UCLA’s paper and we became friends afer that. I remember the day when she said she had to leave school and deal with her illness. She was talking about how she had to leave her stuff in her dorm. I thought about how she was a photographer and writer with aspirations that might have included journalism but also with an interest in popular culture. I had her write about her illness, which has a name that not many can remember. It was about her isolation for many days in a chamber of atomic particles. She also didn’t hesitate to show what her tumor looked like.
Before her operation which had possible dire consequences, we sent her to Hawaii. It was the first GR sponsored vacation. It was like a game show prize. “You and a guest will go on a ….” She picked her dude, Chris Tanouye. From her photos, you’d never think she was ill. It smiles all around the island. Thankfully, the operation worked out and we got more smiles throughout the next few years.