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A light pain that became a heavy malignant tumor
Minseo felt some pain in her leg on a winter day, when she was excited to enter arts high school. Minseo took this pain lightly, thinking ‘maybe it is because I walked lot’, however, the pain got worse and she went to see her doctor. At first, she consulted her orthopedist but the pain was not relieved. She went to a big hospital and there, she was diagnosed ‘osteosarcoma’, a disease that she never heard about.
*Osteosarcoma: A malignant tumor developed in the bones, that occurs frequently during teenagers’ growth period. It mostly develops in the parts where bones grow fast.
<Minseo’s notetaking and her first short story>
Sweet seventeen in the surgery room, having a transplant operation and 6 times of chemotherapy
Minseo who was supposed to wear her new high school uniform and enjoy writing classes had a transplant operation last May, after removing her left shinbone that had a malignant tumor. In case of metastasis, she got an artificial joint surgery on her left knee as well. After that she had 6 times of chemotherapy. Whenever she saw a handful of hair when she woke up, she cried asking herself ‘why is this happening to me?’. It was writing that comforted her whenever she was sad..
<Minseo, taking rehabilitation therapy>
“Because I had a hard time due to my illness, I think I can do unique writings”
The lonely and bright full moon accompanied Yeonjun’s loneliness and melancholy.
-Excerpt from the short story “The Full Moon and an Empty House” by Minseo
Piles of notes around the bed are guarding Minseo like the full moon of her story. She says that the pain goes away when she writes about her feelings and her dreams. Minseo, who is fighting her diseases with the writing, has one true wish.
A laptop that will realise Minseo’s dream
Currently, Minseo writes with a pen and due to the treatments that diminished her strength, she gets exhausted when she writes her stories. However, she wishes to continue her writing.
‘Writing a novel with her favourite people as the main characters’ is on Minseo’s bucket list. Minseo needs a laptop to realise her dream which is writing whenever and wherever she is.
If Minseo’s wish comes true, she will be able to take a closer step to her dream which is becoming an author. Minseo was readmitted to the hospital and got another surgery because the doctors told her that the bone where she got surgery might have cracks. Minseo is still fighting her disease. Please support Minseo’s wish and donate so that she can overcome her illness and become a writer. With your participation, Minseo and her novel can have a happy ending.
I will be a writer who touches the world warmly.
She held the dream of becoming an author and applied to arts high school.
Minseo was filled with anticipation about her school life after receiving her letter of admission; however, due to increasing pain, she sought out the hospital. When she went to a bigger hospital, as there was no improvement to her condition, she suddenly had to face her illness: osteosarcoma.
It was supposed to be a time to make friends while wearing her new uniform, but Minseo had to wear a hospital gown and get surgery. She had to go through a transplant operation for her left leg and knee; chemotherapy six times. ‘Writing’ was the only thing that helped her keep fighting.
Minseo submitted her wish to Make-A-Wish Korea after completing her treatments; she met the volunteers that would help grant her wish that will impact her life. Although in-person activities have been cancelled due to the coronavirus and their meetings were held online, Minseo was able to share her story, her wish, and get another step closer to her dream.
Minseo and the volunteers' online meeting
This was the first online wish meeting since Make-A-Wish Korea was founded in 2002. It could have been awkward, but the volunteers wrote letters for Minseo and prepared surprise gifts for her; they tried their best to get closer with Minseo emotionally, if not physically.
Volunteers meeting with Minseo online / their heartfelt letters that arrived at Minseo’s home
Even through a screen, Minseo’s positive energy motivated the volunteers, as they continued to brainstorm: ‘how can we make her happier? ‘how can we grant her wish more effectively?’
To become an author, Minseo wanted a laptop to write with, but as classes continue to be taught online, she expressed the greater need for one.
There are many writing assignments as per her area of focus; she was completing her assignments on her phone, then moving and saving them onto a desktop. Minseo was getting tired of this and was looking forward to the day when she could have her own laptop.
Even while meeting with the volunteers, she would prepare for intramural contests and send pictures of her works. While they could not go to the exhibition due to the coronavirus, the volunteers sent congratulatory messages and flowers.
“A mirror can change according to who they are reflecting. I want to become like that.”
- A quote from Minseo's book
The volunteers debated heavily how to make a special wish day for Minseo who loved to write. They came up with the idea to collect all her writing to create a book, considering she had such a clear dream to become an ‘author’; this was how ‘the world’s greatest genius author’ Minseo’s first book was published.
Holding one student’s courage and determination for her dream and the support of many, the book “Clover Ring” (/jap-cho-ban-jii/) with a cover by illustrator Seul.grim, who Minseo is a fan of, was sent to various important people in her life.
“A collection of writings where detailed observations made of the world are woven with imagination by ‘the world’s greatest genius author’. The unique perspective of things anyone can experience is charming!”
- JYP Entertainment CSR Team member review
“Words that love the present and dreams of the future- though she is fighting against a difficult to cure disease, the book contains the words of the writer depicting a new morrow. Using short stories, the author conveys to look at the present with a warm heart and the future with anticipation and dreams.”
- Make-A-Wish Korea Staff review
Author Minseo’s first collection, filled with tales of forgotten everyday warmth, touched many people.
Minseo’s wish day came along and she recieved her book filled with reviews and recommendations by her readers, and a laptop to hold many more writings.
As in-person events were limited due to the coronavirus, the volunteers decorated the entrance of Minseo’s home. After they left, Minseo had a birght smile seeing the doorway decorated for her.
Even today, Minseo continues to write stories of important moments that people seem to lose in their everyday lives.
The last line of Minseo’s first collection: “Even if the memories that I make myself is more expensive and more time consuming, I know that it is worth all of that.” Upholding even the hard and painful times as good memories, the laptop and support that the donors have gifted will let Minseo write a second, a third collection, a novel that will inspire and share positive energy to many people.