My interest in Vietnam and the Vietnamese people began in 2011 when I was wrapping up a 10 day trip to Asia with Singapore as my last business stop. I had decided to take a few days and travel from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City before returning back to Chicago. This would be my first trip visiting Vietnam.
The stark contrast between the wealth in Singapore and the poverty in Ho Chi Minh city made an impression on me. I found the Vietnamese people to be extremely friendly and determined to make a living in Vietnam's developing economy.
I also learned that, because of a variety of factors, certain illnesses like cancer seemed to be more common than in developed western countries. Unfortunately, there isn't a national health insurance plan and many Vietnamese, especially those living in poverty, do not have private health insurance. An illness such as cancer can drain whatever money exists in the family, and much more.
I have always wanted to give something back for the opportunities I have received in my life. The CrowdRise platform seemed like a great way to reach out to the goodness that exists in other people.
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