This is my favorite picture of my friend Jessi Chen, taken weeks before a violent assault in late 2016 left her bedridden and in constant pain.
Born in Oakland. Jessi had built a career in event photography, capturing the unforgettable moments at Facebook, Google, and dozens of local tech companies with her characteristic joy. As a hobby, Jessi also ran a popular fashion blog dedicated to her love of curating vintage dresses.
In August 2016, Jessi's vibrant existence came to a horrible end when she was violently raped by a massage therapist from her own community. The nerve damage she sustained during the assault has rendered her unable to work or even leave her bed on most days. Helpless, I've watched the brilliant, vibrant Jessi slowly fade as her condition deteriorates due to poverty and inaccessibly expensive healthcare.
Jessi was raised by a single Chinese mother, and put her two younger siblings through college before launching her own photography business. She has no network of established friends, teachers, or family to fall back on. She is the most resilient person I have ever met, but how much longer she can stand to lie in a dark room as with no end in sight?
Please, please help fund Jessi's back surgery. She deserves a break from pain. She deserves to live a full life.
I want nothing more than to restore Jessi's vivacious laughter and see her brighten our world with her passion and beauty again--will you please join me?