April 30, 2019 – Cookbook Release

I released my cookbook today (and it was AMAZING).

Yesterday I was so excited that I stayed up late jamming to Hannah Montana.

Today at 2 PM I  left school and met Sammie, Kina, and Ray at the quad. Sammie drove us to my house, and at 2:30 there was a limo in front of my house.

I mean, a LIMO!

The driver drove us to the Ronald McDonald House at Palo Alto. My mom and grandma already left before us, so they were already there.

When we arrived we were greated by a photographer sent by Stanford. He took pictures of us, and my mom came outside.

Oh, and Kayano came! In case you don’t know, Kayano was my neighbor at the Ronald McDonald House. We spent the summer of 2018 together.

Kayano got his kidney transplant! It occurred on April 6, 2019. If you remember the joy of January 3, 2019 and the disappointment of January 4, 2019, Kayano’s kidney was long  overdue.

I’m so glad that I saw Kayano. It was nice touching up with old friends, especially seeing how well he was doing.

Another person that came was Jacob. I met Jacob at Camp Taylor, a camp just for patients with heart defects.

We grew up together, and he visited me at the hospital.

The inside of the Ronald McDonald House was incredible. Beth really outdid herself.

There was a table with a Make-A-Wish table cloth covering the surface, a custom poster with ‘Justin’s Just Recipes’ and my pictures on there, and the kitchen was fully ready for the presentation.

The cookbooks were beautiful. I know I saw them before on Shutterfly, but they looked better in person.

Are you ready for the most exciting part?

THE WATER BOTTLES HAD MY PICTURE ON IT!

I mean, you know you made it when the water bottles have your picture on it!

Along with that, the napkins had my name on it, and there were even bookmarks with my name on it!

WHAT?!?!

As we approached five, it became more and more hectic. Reporters and people showed up.  

It was AMAZING.

I met the CEO of Make-A-Wish, the CEO of the Ronald McDonald Houses, the board of directors of Make-A-Wish, the director of nutritional sciences at Lucile Packard, the director of marketing at Lucile Packard, and the East Bay representative of Donate Life.

I also met reporters from KTVU Fox 2 News, NBC Bay Area, KTSF Channel 26, Lucile Packard, The Palo Alto Weekly, and Make-A-Wish.

Get them contacts! Make those connections!

When it became five, I made my speech while mom and Victoria cooked the Pancit.

Click Here for my speech.

Afterwards, I signed a couple cookbooks and got interviewed by all the news stations.

It was special. Today was special.

A Lucile Packard representative asked if I was tired, but I told her no. Are you kidding?

I’ve never been the one who’s been noticed, or the person people would swoon over.

It was nice winning.

Bring on the reporters!

The driver drove Sammie, Alexa, Ray, and me back to my house in a black SUV (still pretty cool).

At home, Sammie sent Ray and Alexa back to their houses.

Reflecting back, I think today is more important than just a cookbook release. It’s a symbol of my heart transplant coming to an end.

I know that April 27, 2019 was technically the one year mark, but today feels more like the end of an era. I think today’s special event is really a sign to “move on”.  

Today was special. I’m so happy. Wow.

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