A+ Family Dentistry May 2018

San Diego Location: 3780 El Cajon Blvd., Unit 1

Poway Location: 12915 Pomerado Road Poway, CA 92064 Phone: 858-748-5100

San Diego, CA 92105 Phone: 619-265-2467

The Happy Tooth


“I am quite fortunate that the three most important women in my life also happen to be some of the most incredible moms I have ever met.”

Every year, we celebrate mothers on the second Sunday of May. I am quite fortunate that the three most important women in my life also happen to be some of the most incredible moms I have ever met. This month, I would like to celebrate them: my grandmother, my mother, and my sister.

know where my mom got it. But she worked hard to give us a chance, even if it meant leaving everything familiar behind. Our boat ended up having to turn back, but my mom never gave up. In 1991, when they started an emigration program for people to leave Vietnam, my mom made sure our family was a part of it. I don’t know how she got the money together to pay for all the tickets, but we got to come to America because my mom worked hard all her life. At 16, I was pretty rebellious, and our relationship was tough, but I now recognize how strong my mom is. And when I’m having a tough time, I compare it to what my mom went through, and I gain a little perspective. Last but not least, I want to recognize my sister. Patients know her as Dr. Janice, and I am so happy to work alongside her every day. I’ll admit, I didn’t always feel that way. Janice is 6 years younger than I am, and when we were children, she followed me around everywhere I went. It drove me crazy! As we got older, our relationship evolved. Today, Janice is my best friend. We’re sisters, so we won’t always get along, but we’re always supportive and strive to make each other better. I greatly admire her as a fellow dentist and for how she works hard to be the best mom she can be. She spends much of her free time with her son, Jake, and she’s one of the most cheerful, positive people I know. Each day is a little brighter because I get to see my sister.

For most of my young life, I lived with my grandparents in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, my father fought for the South Vietnamese army, and after the war, he was sent to a concentration camp. Even after he was released, he wasn’t allowed back into the city where we lived, because the government was afraid of a rebellion. He lived in the rural area, and when my mom decided to live with him, she knew it would be better for me and my siblings if we stayed in the city. As a result, I was raised primarily by my grandmother. My grandma was a really strong woman. After the war, the whole country was poor, and many people were starving. I don’t know how she did it, but every night, my grandmother made sure there was food on the table for us to eat. We didn’t have a lot, but we had enough, and that was a blessing. My grandma also taught me how to read and write the alphabet when I was really little, and once I learned, she had me teach my sister and brother. She was my first teacher, and I will always be grateful for the strength and support she gave us. I didn’t live with my parents until I was 16 years old. My siblings and I would go visit our parents in the summer, but it wasn’t until we came to America in 1991 that we lived together. Most teenage girls have challenging relationships with their mothers, but since we were also learning English and living together for the first time, things between my mom and I were downright rocky. We didn’t have a close relationship then, but I remember watching my mom from afar and seeing that she was a survivor. My dad was in a concentration camp until I was four years old, so my mom was basically a single mother. When I was 8, we tried to escape Vietnam on a boat. It was too dangerous for my dad to come, so it was just my mom, myself, and my siblings. Getting on that boat cost a lot of money, and I don’t

I am truly blessed to know so many strong women and wonderful moms. Thank you all for making my life fuller by being part of it.

–Dr. Justene Doan

May 2018 Edition

A+ Family Dentistry | 619-265-2467 | P1


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