Saturday, March 12 – CNN

Yasue, Ian and Scott Schumaker.

One of my calls was to a friend of ours that works at CNN. Maybe he could get his correspondents in Sendai to give Yasue some food. Although it did not result in food, it did result in an interview. This interview would expand dramatically the number of people wanting to help.

We couldn’t be more proud of Yasue and how she handled herself on the interview. She has been through a lot. Her mother’s illness, the quake, the tsunami. Her interview can be found at here. The video is right above the blog entry at 9:35 pm EST.

She was very emotional at the end of the interview which really hit Ian and I hard. It resonated with others too. Our phone began ringing off the hook. First our home phone. Then my cell. Then his.

The media was unbelievably fast. While Yasue was still being interviewed live on CNN, the New York-based producer for Diane Sawyer called and wanted to know how he too could reach Yasue. Then Anderson Cooper’s producer called. Then the folks from CBS’ The Early Show. KITV, Hawaii News Now and The Honolulu Star-Advertiser would call as well. Undeterred by feedback that it was nearly impossible to reach Yasue, some media members began connecting with Ian on Facebook trying to get more information out of him.

Strangers began calling us to wanting to know how they could help. They sent friend requests to her Facebook page. They emailed. They called. All very well-meaning people but few, if any, could help get food to her right away. Nonetheless, we thanked them for their kindness and positive thoughts.

Yasue waited for hours in the frigid air for her turn at a Lawson’s convenience store for food. They were limiting everyone to 5 items. By the time Yasue got in the store, it was nearly empty but she was able to get 5 Cup Noodles Instant Ramen. We were comforted to know she at least had a little food. But, we knew she needed more. She said an elderly woman a few people in front of her got the last of the musubi (rice balls). Perhaps only in Japan would this take place. After buying the musubi, the woman bowed and apologized repeatedly for buying the last ones. After having stood in the line for hours, she then went back down the line bowing and apologizing to everyone.