Tag Archives: Berlin Nguyen

Good News Friday: My first-ever hosting of Thanksgiving was a success! The best hockey player in the world does something awesome for charity. And a Vietnamese chef in California’s heartwarming story of parental devotion

And a Happy Friday to you out there, sleeping off the L-tryptophan and wondering why you had that third piece of pecan pie (it was worth it). Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, didn’t argue politics at the table, and left the night happy and healthy. (That photo above is a giant balloon of Chase from “Paw Patrol” on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast, and if you don’t think that was BY FAR the favorite thing my 4-year-old saw Thursday, you don’t have a toddler. Man was he excited!)

Every Thanksgiving is special to me, because it’s my favorite holiday of the year. But this year was a little extra-special, because as I mentioned the other day, it was the first-time in my four-decades plus of life that I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner.

My amazing wife and I had 15 relatives over on Thursday, everybody made a dish, we got the turkey from Whole Foods (look, we could’ve tried to make the bird ourselves but for our first-ever hosting gig, we didn’t want to screw it up and send our loved ones home sick), and it was fabulous.

It has always seemed like such a grown-up thing to do, hosting Thanksgiving, and something I’ve always, always wanted to do. But growing up we always went to my aunt’s house, and over the years as an adult I’ve always found myself there, or at another relative, or at my mom and stepdad’s.

But this year, after we bought a house, I was determined to host. There’s something so warm about having people come to where you live and enjoy the holiday (plus for the first time I didn’t have to drive anywhere, which in NYC on Thanksgiving is a nightmare).

It was really a fabulous day, and for me, a dream realized.

**Next up, Connor McDavid is the greatest hockey player in the world, and more people would know who he is if he didn’t play all the way up in Edmonton, if his team was any good, and if hockey wasn’t the niche sport it is here in America.

But McDavid is a really amazing talent, and a great guy as well. Check out this story about him from a recent Edmonton Oilers’ charity night event, as recounted by ex-NHL’er and broadcaster Cam Connor.

At the Edmonton Oilers Gala last week, there was a fishing trip up for auction (in support of the Down Syndrome Society). Connor McDavid immediately bid $50,000 for the trip.

Connor’s bid obviously was the highest. He paid the $50,000 for the bid and promptly gave the trip back to the charity so someone else could bid and enjoy the trip, and the charity could make even more money.”

Very, very cool gesture. And as Cam concluded, “Hockey’s future is in great hands with stars like this.”

**Finally today, my friend Catherine Pearlman has written a tremendously beautiful story for the Today show website on a man she’s gotten to know named Dee Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American chef in California who had his life turned upside down when his son, Berlin, suffered a devastating accident during a surgery when he was only a year old. Berlin suffered a severe brain injury that rendered him quadriplegic with significant cognitive impairment.

Since then, Dee and his wife, Linh have had their whole lives turned upside down caring for Berlin, and this beautifully-told story shows just how far they’ve gone, and how much they have to do, to keep their son alive and healthy.

Catherine clearly spent hours with the family and adores them as much as you will after reading this story. Really inspirational stuff.