Mail (November, 1998)
Letter from China
Dear Ed Dewke: Hello! I'm a 24-year-old boy from Changchun, China. My name is Kevinlee.
I've read your website carefully. From the contents of the website, I think you must be a very nice and kind man.
My sister named Lixue, 22 years old, a nice girl. She has been suffering from psoriasis since she was 8 years old. All my family worriy about her. My parents have paid lots of money. The money is not a problem, but she never has recovered from psoriasis. A beautiful girl's skin with patches. Can you imagine it?
Her case [of P] will be trouble to her marriage [prospects]. She does not have a boyfriend yet. The disease must be a problem someday. What do you think?
I keep searching the Internet for information about this kind of disease, and hope to find some valuble information or advice. Since I'm Chinese, not good enough in English. Sometimes I feel very puzzled with such a lot of data, many websites, much information...etc. I really need your advice or recommendation and tell me what should I do, how I can get help.
Though we never met before, Internet will make us friends, won't it?
Thanks a lot previously and good luck, happy! -Kevinlee
Ed's Response: I was touched to receive your e-mail, friend Kevinlee, as yours was the first I have received from China. I have had many Chinese-American friends and acquaintances down through the years, but never a correspondent from your country. I am glad you found FLAKE HQ on the Internet.
Your compassionate search for help for your sister humbles me. Somehow, words seem insufficient. Nevertheless, I do wish to try.
First, let me say that you have found a place on the Internet that is populated by people who can, very easily, imagine your sister's predicament. We are all like her. Is it possible for her to visit FLAKE HQ? If she is less fluent in English than you, could you be our translator? In hopes that you can, my following words are for her....
Dear Lixue: You are one among many millions of people throughout the world who suffer from psoriasis, so do not feel alone. In many ways, we are a quiet nation of our own, fused together by the similarity of our conditions and our experiences. While the pain of our disease can be significant, that pain is probably not so significant as the way in which our visible disease sets us apart from the people around us. You already know, because of your loving family, that your psoriasis does not make you an outcast. Your life can be as rich as anyone else's. Consider this:
Many people suffer terrible diseases that are NOT visible. These are like secrets which are often not shared; deceits of sorts that have great potential to ruin relationships. Psoriasis, on the other hand, is one disease that usually cannot be so secret or deceitful. This is especially true among lovers and spouses. When you wish to love and be loved, to find someone with whom to share your life, your psoriasis cannot be something hidden and bitter. It is the thorn on the rosebush. Do we love roses less because the thorns are inconvenient? Focus on the flower of your personality and you will find someone to love and be loved by. This has been true for so many of us, how can it be false?
To Kevinlee and Lixue: Yes! Though we have never met
before, we can be friends through the Internet. Sincerely, -Ed Dewke
& All of Us at FLAKE HQ