Aloha, my name is Rina. I was born and raised in California. My parents were born in Cambodia. Someone in America sponsored them to come live in America because of the Civil War at their homeland. I have three older brothers, three younger brothers, and four older sisters. They all live in California. I moved to Arizona in August of 2010 with an open mind and sought maybe best for my future.
Within approximately half a year, I was employed as a care giver for special needs at their own homes. I continue to work with special needs and their family. Over the years, I have the knowledge and the skills to deal with different disabilities and I hope it will grow over time. For now, I have the experience working with down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and autism. My first client was an elderly woman with down syndrome. She was non-verbal and communicated through sign language. She was the one who taught me sign language. I became very attached to the sweet woman, making her my first friend in Arizona. She passed away from a stroke in September of 2011. After her death, I was assigned to work with a boy with cerebral palsy who was also non-verbal and wheel chair bound. A month later, I found out I was pregnant with my son. I worked with the boy until I was five month pregnant. His mother didn’t want to risk me lifting him and hurting myself and the baby. I had my baby boy in April of 2012. He came out six pounds and five ounces. He was seventeen inches long. Three months after I had my son, I went back to work with the boy with cerebral palsy. Two years of working with the boy, I decided to go to school for massage therapy. He was always tensed. I wanted to help him relax his muscles and soothe his mind. I went to Arizona School of Massage Therapy for a year and graduated in March of 2015. I promised my client’s mother, I would still continue to work with her and her son after I graduated.
Two months after I graduated, I got hired on to a chiropractic office. I worked part-time as a care provider for the boy and part-time as a massage therapist at the chiropractic office. I found out I was six weeks pregnant in March of 2016. I continued working at both jobs. My client and his mother moved to the east coast in May of 2016. I continued to work at the chiropractic office until I was seven month pregnant. I’ve been working at the office for over a year. I then worked with another boy with cerebral palsy with minimum lifting. I only worked with him for a few weeks because my daughter came five weeks early. She was born on Veterans day. She came out six pounds and fifteen ounces. She was also seventeen inches long like her big brother. She was admitted to the nicu because she came too early and her blood sugar was too low. She stayed in the nicu for a day and half. She’s healthy and growing normally.
Five weeks after my daughter was born, I applied at Hawaiian Experience Spa and got the job. I had a vision in school. I had vision myself I would work at a chiropractic office for a year or so and I accomplished it. I then, vision myself working at a spa and here I am! My goal for my career is to open up a massage spa for special needs and their families. I want to be able to give at least thirty to forty percent to any special needs program. I would like to volunteer my time working at the special needs Olympics in Arizona.
Rina is the leader of team Ho’onalu, which means “go with the flow”.