Interview with Lena Loo
A Conversation with Lena Loo, Administrative Officer
Where were you born and raised? Describe your family, please.
I was born and raised in the city across the San Francisco Bay, Oakland, California. My parents immigrated here in the late 1970s for a chance at a better life away. I have one older brother, who currently lives in Southern California with his wife. Despite being the baby in the family, I always felt like I’m the older sibling since my parents relies on me more so than my brother. I grew up with my maternal first-cousins (one of them actually works at UCSF too!). Outside of my immediate family, I have 3 close friends that are considered family (2 of them are actually my BFFs). Sometimes family isn’t always blood. They accept me for who I am and would do anything to see me smile.
You live a very natural lifestyle and have a lot of knowledge about it. How did you learn about it and what would you recommend for those starting on that journey? Can you tell me why you chose to follow this lifestyle?
I’ve always been interested in learning about random things. In all honesty, I usually go by a 90/10 lifestyle. I started researching more when I went through treatment for a life threatening health condition. I try my best to avoid as much chemicals as possible, reduce stress and eat 90% healthy (can’t fully give up junk/sweets!). Growing my own garden was another way to keep me motivated. I felt more obligated to eat the fruits, veggies, and herbs from my backyard. This saved me more money from eating out and time going to the grocery stores. I highly suggest to do your own research!
We learned why you chose a more natural lifestyle. In your opinion, what is one downside of the modern day world?
I would say electronics/technology, but it’s not really a downside. It’s brought many open doors to us, such as alternative ways to learning, sharing data, faster communication, etc. Many jobs require us to be in front of our computers or on phones for long periods. At the end of the day, I strongly encourage we should make an effort to create boundaries such as blocking out time for ourselves and/or our loved ones. If you’re always attached to your electronics, you can potentially lose out on a lot of irreplaceable memories and life experiences!
What has required the most courage of you in your life so far?
Life totally threw me a curve ball a few years ago. I would say it took courage being there emotionally for my loved ones and most importantly, myself during my treatment. It takes even more courage to face things head on, and still have such a positive outlook in life. They were extremely worried about me, but I always tell them with a smile on my face, “Don’t worry, I’m strong, I’ll get through this.”
You often bring up Princess. Who is she?
Princess is my almost 11 year old miniature dachshund! Her favorite fruit is persimmon. My older brother FaceTimed me one day and said, “Look who dad brought home?” Through my screen, I saw tiny, five month old Princess. Till this day, she is super active and does not act her age at all. 2019 was a rough year for us, she was diagnosed with canine immune mediated hemolytic anemia. The vet said that if I had brought her in a day or two later, she would have died. This showed me that we should not take everything for granted. Princess came into our lives the year my grandmother passed away, so we really treasure her.
Everyone has good days and bad days, what makes you smile?
An act of kindness. It makes me smile and warms my heart. I aim to do at least one daily. Whether if it’s something small like saying “thank you”, offering a hug, or helping someone out. I can’t speak for everyone, but if I’m having a bad day, a hug or an “Are you okay?” can go very far. Sometimes you just need someone to tell you that everything will be okay.