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One reads many stories about the evils and dangers to be found on the Internet....This story portrays the power of the Internet; a group of compassionate people, and their determination to help save the life of a friend.

A little over a year ago, I would not have believed what I am experiencing today! I obtained access to the Internet at that time knowing absolutely nothing about it. What I found and what has developed is amazing! Being a breeder of purebred Bichons Frises, I naturally headed my search in that direction. Bichons Frises are wonderful, happy, little white dogs who love nothing better than hobnobbing with humans. They are the connecting link among the people in this story!

There was little to be found about the breed on the Internet at that time....a few home pages of fanciers were just beginning to appear. In an e-mail message someone asked me "Have you met Janice yet?". I hadn't, but looked up her home page and typed a short note in her Guest Book. That was just the beginning! Janice and I became e-mail 'buddies' and have corresponded continually ever since. From her I found help in building my own home page and the courage to upload it to the Internet and in doing so have met other Bichon people..........one being Kiyomi from Japan.An important link in this story is a Bichon Frise Discussion List which was created by Janice in the Fall of 1996. Among the original members, and an integral part of this List were Kiyomi from Japan, Derek & Joan from England, Julia from Canada, Janice from California and myself , also from Canada...quite a diverse group! The Discussion List was a roaring success attracting many helpful, caring people and now (June 1997) consists of over 400 List members.

Now about Kiyomi........Anyone who has viewed Kiyomi's web site and seen the wonderful Bichon gif images and other artwork she creates have come to realize that Kiyomi is a talented, dedicated and caring person who has done much for our breed on the Internet. Kiyomi speaks very little English, but has computer software which translates for her and enables free communication among us. Kiyomi is an inspiration, not only for her creativity, but for her sense of humor, and her desire to always put the feelings of others before her own!

Early in May of this year, I received an e-mail letter from Kiyomi. She was concerned about her health and knew there was something physically wrong with her. She swore me to secrecy at the time, as she didn't want to upset anyone, especially Janice who was soon to attend a large show. Kiyomi and I corresponded often during this critical time, discussing her condition and her feelings; she confiding in me and I doing my best to calm her fears and give her hope.

Unfortunately, testing showed that Kiyomi had (stage 3) cancer and must wait for a vacant bed in Japan in order to undergo the necessary surgery. With no scheduled treatment in sight, this became a long and extremely arduous wait for Kiyomi. She finally allowed Janice, as well as Derek & Joan to know of her condition, and we all corresponded, doing our best to help! During this time, I happened to have two Bichon Frise puppies which I asked Kiyomi to help me name. These puppies became a link between us and were named "Tenshi" (Angel) and "Kibou" (hope). Kiyomi designed Tenshi and Kibou gifs for me showing their names in Japanese (kanji) writing. Derek & Joan sent Kiyomi the cutest Teddy Bear they could find as a connection between them.

Janice suddenly realized that another of our List members, Judy, was married to a cancer specialist in California and connected with a group of doctors specializing in that field. In an effort to understand the extent of Kiyomi's condition, Janice called Judy. The miracle began when the medical group offered to treat Kiyomi on a humanitarian basis. Janice and I then began in earnest to convince Kiyomi that she should not wait for a bed in Japan, but should travel to America for treatment. It was a difficult decision for her!

We convinced Kiyomi to allow our Discussion group to know of her illness and that's when the miracle continued. Our List members have been continually praying for Kiyomi's return to health and overwhelmingly corresponded with her, telling of their own experiences, sending their personal thoughts and prayers, and encouraging her to travel to America for expedient treatment of her cancer. It finally worked, and Kiyomi made her decision! On June 19th Kiyomi arrived in San Francisco and was met by Janice. For recognition, Janice carried cards showing the Tenshi and Kibou kanji writing, and Kiyomi's Teddy Bear from Derek and Joan was peeking out of her backpack. We couldn't all be there in the flesh, but we certainly were there in spirit!

The work really began then for Janice, who has unselfishly taken on the task of driving Kiyomi to all her medical appointments and overseeing her care. Janice and her partner, Steve, have been treating Kiyomi royally and the rapport has been such that Kiyomi describes Janice and Steve as "Pepsi", which, in Japanese, means "sweet and stimulative".

The first good news was that Kiyomi's cancer is stage 1 (not stage 3) and surgery has been scheduled for July 3rd, when a radical hysterectomy will be performed. The findings from the surgery will determine any further treatment and the time involved.

Members of our Discussion group have been sending monetary donations to Kiyomi's Fund to help pay for her airfare and ancillary expenses which involve hotel, food and other incidentals during the necessary treatment time. The airfare is now covered, but much more is needed for her stay in California while undergoing post-surgical treatment and, depending on the length of time involved, this could amount to a large sum of money.

July 3rd will certainly be the first day of the rest of Kiyomi's life, and we hope it will be long and happy! The miracle continues!

Is the Internet bad and evil? Not unless that's what you're looking for! If you're looking for communication, help for your specific interests, meeting wonderful and caring people......they're all there.......you just have to look in the right direction!


If you would like to donate to Kiyomi's Fund, please send your check/money order (in U.S. funds) payable to BFCNC for benefit of Kiyomi and mail to U.S.Bank, Attn: Nesley/New Accounts, 39510 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA.94538, U.S.A. Please mark on your check/money order: Account 691-5850-041. Any and all donations will be sincerely appreciated!

You can subscribe to the Bichon Frise Discussion List at: http://members.tripod.com/~BFL/

All Bichon gifs on this page are designed by Kiyomi and should not be copied or used without her knowledge and consent.