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The Kristi and Carole Yamaguchi Interview (Page 3 of 3)

An Interview with Kristi and Carole Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi:  Right.  It is about inspiring people to look and reach for the stars.  I do not think you are ever too old or too young to have a dream.  I think you have to keep dreaming in life and face new challenges.  I think it keeps you motivated and life exciting; so if I can inspire a young child, that is even better.

Gary Barg:  What is the foundation set up to do?

Kristi Yamaguchi:  Always Dream has been in existence for about 16 years now and we have supported a lot of different children's organizations—children with disabilities, disadvantaged children, children's shelters—anything that embraces the hopes and dreams of children. We are now turning our focus to education and, in particular, early childhood literacy.  Really trying to make a mark there and help provide better futures for the kids by improving their literacy.

Gary Barg:  I think it all starts there. That is so important. I just wanted to touch on that because I just love the phrase and I think it is so appropriate for family caregivers to never let go of their dreams.

One last question about the Faces of Influenza Campaign. It is more important than ever for family caregivers to make sure they and their loved ones are getting the vaccinations. These facts are staggering and people 65 years of age and older are hardest hit. It affects so many of the people that we care about. People with chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable to complications from influenza.  I just want to make sure people do not think, Oh, it is just the flu. Could you sum up what your goals are and again, what you would say to a family caregiver?

Kristi Yamaguchi:  The primary goal of Faces of Influenza is to put a spotlight on the seriousness of influenza and the importance of being immunized every year—especially caregivers who are around people who may have compromised immune systems or be suffering from chronic health issues which the flu can exacerbate.  It is definitely a must in order to stay healthy yourself and to help the people around you.

Gary Barg:  Is there more information?

Carole Yamaguchi:  The Web site, facesofinfluenza.org, is great. It has a lot of information that can probably answer most of your questions.

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