Tag Archives: Family

Laser-Cut Lunar New Year Rooster Cards

Happy Lunar New Year! Year 2017 is the Year of the Rooster! To welcome in the Lunar New Year (called Tết in Việt and 新年 in Chinese), we made Rooster greeting cards to fill red envelopes (called lì xì in Vietnamese, hong bao in Mandarin, lai see in Cantonese). In our cultures, these red envelopes represent good luck and are distributed to children and unmarried individuals. We deviated from tradition in that Continue reading Laser-Cut Lunar New Year Rooster Cards

“Happy Mother’s Day… for daughters and sons who have lost their moms”

Story and artwork by Kathy May Tran

Click here to see story published on Mogul, an online publishing platform for women.


Dear Mom, happy Mother’s Day.
Today is your day and we want you to know that.
Thank you for everything.
We love you.

We have all said these words before. In fact, we have said them on this day every year for as many years as we can remember. Nothing has changed – we still mean every single word and we still love our mothers just as much, even more. But, at the same time, everything has changed – because now we say these words with our hearts and not with Continue reading “Happy Mother’s Day… for daughters and sons who have lost their moms”

Silas’ Brother

Yves Terence Wang

Yves is Silas’ younger brother by three years. They have similar interests, including tinkering, electronics, computers, and biotechnology. Yves followed in Silas’ footsteps by attending Harvard College and majoring in biomedical engineering, but he then earned a Ph.D. in the field from Cleveland Clinic / Case Western. Click here for his LinkedIn profile.

While in Ohio, Yves met his future wife, Megan. They were wed in 2014, and Silas was Yves’ best man. Currently, Yves is a postdoctoral associate and Megan is a family medicine resident in upstate New York.

Yves and Megan's Wedding 12 - The Groom and Best Man



April Tran (AKA “Picaroo”)

On April 1, 2003, the Tran family went to the local pound in Houston County, Georgia. Before Kathy’s mom even parked and turned off the engine, her brother, Tom-Vinh, spotted a white dog with brown spots. She was cowered in the corner of the outdoor kennel shaking and afraid while the other large dogs with her barked at her. Tom said immediately that that was the dog for us. As we inquired about the dog in the office, a lady exclaimed, “That’s my dog!” She had just brought her pet to the pound and had not even had a chance to sign the paperwork to relinquish her dog. When she found out we were interested, she retrieved her dog from the kennel. We followed this lady home and she gave us all of the dog food and supplies she had. We saw that, unfortunately, she really could not care for her dog. Her dog lived in a small closet in the kitchen – she slept, ate, and used the bathroom in the same little area. It was heartbreaking.

We took our new family member home and Kathy’s mom named her April as she came to us on April Fool’s Day. She was already an adult when she became a member of the Tran clan. The veterinarian estimated that she was born in 2011-2012.

When April first came home, the hair on her ears fell in clumps with light touch, probably from stress or the bleaching shampoo her previous owner used. She also had intermittent seizures and was not housebroken. Kathy’s mom was patient and persistent, however, in loving and training April and she became a healthy and happy dog! She is incredibly smart, mastering a number of tricks, including sit, down, shake, pray, and jumping through a hoop!

April has a total of five perfect spots – one over each ear (extending over her left eye), two on her back, and one over her tail. Of course we don’t know for certain as she is adopted, but we believe that April is a Jack Russell terrier. She certainly has the energy and intelligence typical to the breed. She also looks like Wishbone the dog, the “little dog with a big imagination” who is the star of the 1990s television show. Wishbone daydreams about literary classics, imaging that he is the main character – maybe April does, too! Here’s a comparison for you to judge by yourself…

april 1x

For over a decade until Kathy’s mom passed, April was her faithful companion. Wherever Kathy’s mom went, April followed (especially if that somewhere was the kitchen!). Even when Tom and Kathy moved away for college and work, April was always there. She kept Kathy’s mom company every day and night, at home and on long road trips.

April currently lives with Tom in central Georgia! Check back soon for an album of very cute pictures of her!

“The Bittersweetness of Medical School Match Day”

By Kathy May Tran

Click here to view this article published on MOGUL, an online publishing platform for women.

Click here to view this article published on KevinMD.com, a health blog for physicians about all things medical.

Friday was Match Day.

At 12 noon EST, medical students all over the United States simultaneously opened envelopes which revealed the destination of their residency training. The tradition is an exhilarating and emotional event for everyone involved. For medical students, it is a milestone that symbolizes a dramatic life change and a new adventure. It marks the culmination of years of hard work, the end of one thing and the beginning of another. For me, Match Day was an opportunity to reflect upon the difficulty of my medical school years and how those struggles changed my professional and personal life for the better. Continue reading “The Bittersweetness of Medical School Match Day”

3D Origami

My mom mastered the skill of 3D or modular origami, in which multiple small rectangles are folded into tiny triangles, then assembled into sculpture. She self-taught herself the techniques from YouTube videos and her own experience. Each sculpture can require hundreds of pieces, depending on the size and pattern. All paper you see is recycled (my mom did not like to waste). Almost all were created free-handedly from Continue reading 3D Origami