B Here Raises Awareness For UCI

<strong>MELISSA LEE |</strong> Staff Photographer<br>AJ Raphael entertains a full crowd of UCI students and others looking to learn about hepatitis B awareness.

MELISSA LEE | Staff Photographer
AJ Raphael entertains a full crowd of UCI students and others looking to learn about hepatitis B awareness.

The Student Center was decorated with red balloons for the “B Here Campaign,” to spread awareness of hepatitis B which was sponsored by the Chinese Association and Alpha Phi Omega. “B Here” kicked off last Monday, Oct. 5.

The “B Here Campaign” was composed of two parts: an art exhibit and a live performance. Admission to both parts was free; however, people had to attend the exhibit in order to get their tickets for the live performance.

Spirit Chair for Alpha Phi Omega, Michelle Fong, said that this co-ed fraternity “helps whenever it can to support important causes.”

Alpha Phi Omega went to both the art exhibit and live performance as an organization.

This campaign was held on campus to support hepatitis B awareness. Many people, such as the dance crew Kaba Modern from “America’s Best Dance Crew,” and KevJumba, came to UC Irvine to stand up for this cause.

The art exhibit was held in Student Center Ballroom from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There were many student volunteers participating in this event as well as artwork all throughout the room and a photo booth area where students could take pictures with their friends.

In order to obtain the ticket for the live performance, each student needed to watch a five-minute video about hepatitis B awareness near the exit of the art exhibit.

In the video, Dr. Danny Chu defined hepatitis B as a “serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus.” Chu also shared how hepatitis B can lead to “severe medical complications including liver failure, liver cancer and even pre-mature death.”

Arline Loh, a hepatitis B patient and advocate, was also on the video. She described hepatitis B as the “silent killer” because many people living with the disease do not know they are infected. Loh explained that she had chronic hepatitis B for nearly 40 years without knowing it.

The repeated quote in the video was that “one in 10 Asian Americans is living with chronic hepatitis B.” This quote was supported by the worldwide statistic that about 400 million people are living with hepatitis B and two-thirds are from Asian countries.

Kevin Wu, known to many as KevJumba, was the emcee for the night. He began by sharing how excited he was to be able to come to UC Irvine. KevJumba then introduced Jessica Sanchez.

Sanchez started her set off by singing Rihanna’s, “Please Don’t Stop the Music.” Afterward, she sang Beyonce’s “Smash Into You.” The last part of her set was a montage of Michael Jackson’s songs.

AJ Rafael was the next performer. He began his set by singing a Disney medley which consisted of everything from Hercules to Mulan. He also sang some of his own songs like “Showstopper” and “I Just Want You.”

Michelle Martinez, a northern California local, performed immediately after. She began to sing one of her songs “Euphoria” then sang a couple more acoustic covers as well as her own song, “Nobody but You.”

Paul Dateh then performed with Ken Belcher. Dateh played an electric violin and sang, while Belcher played the guitar.

Christine Gambito, also known as HappySlip, performed stand-up comedy. She shared many of her family gatherings and mimicked her relatives trying to speak English.

The last performance was done by Kaba Modern from “America’s Best Dance Crew.” Toward the end of the routine, a couple of the group members performed mini solo pieces. The audience was entertained by the group’s stage presence. Kaba Modern threw out t-shirts into the audience before leaving the stage.

Fong said that Alpha Phi Omega encouraged others to go to support the event as well. She felt both the concert and gallery were “very effective.” Fong explained that the message of hepatitis B awareness was conveyed to the audience.

“[The concert was] pretty good in making people aware of hepatitis B,” third year Yesie Chang said. “It made my eyes open to Asian American YouTube stars pursuing their dreams.”