HAPA Holidays, Hip Hapa Homeez! Right about now, most of you are probably dipping into some good old holiday cheer while gathering around hoa’aloha (friends) and ‘ohana (family). This time of the year is especially exciting for the keiki (children), and our blog this week features such a child—the perpetually cheerful Tyler Ransom, along with his father, Marlon.
Besides being a happy hapa kid, Tyler also happens to have an illness for which there is no known cure. Read below to find out how you can help.
That’s Tyler’s to the left, and other Ransom family members—mother Cheryl, sister Skylar, and father Marlon--below.
Following are some thoughts hapa papa Marlon shared with us.
Q: What's a nice black, Irish and Thai guy like you doing with such a multi-cultural family?
A: The short story is my grandmother on my father’s side is Thai; my grandfather on my mother’s side is Irish. So, I guess that makes me a quarter Irish and a quarter Thai and the rest black. I met my wife, Cheryl, who is Filipino, at a gym in Chicago. She posed quite a challenge for me, as she wasn’t particularly open to dating someone who was somewhat of a ladies man. After weeks of making small talk at the gym, I suggested that we go out and she said, “Me and you?” From that moment I was determined to go out with her, not realizing the result would be a going on nine-year marriage with two kids, Tyler (8) and Skylar (6).
Q: Besides booking talent for corporate speaking engagements, you also promote mixed martial arts pay-per-view parties, write for Ultimate MMA magazine, manage a select group of fitness professionals and are in school completing your degree in Legal Studies. How do you juggle so many things?
A: I am a time management junkie, so to speak. I plan out each upcoming week every Sunday, based on the projects and commitments and, I adjust time restraints on each accordingly. It is a mad science, which works well with my ADD.
Q: You're also a film producer. Can you tell us about the scripts you've optioned and the films you've produced?
A: I have been fortunate enough to have optioned a handful of scripts, none have been made as of yet, but being paid for your writing is a blessing. My writing eerily sways between religious-themed topics to Silence of the Lamb type crime and suspense.
I have been involved with raising funds for a number of 1 million dollar range films that have gone straight to DVD and or have been released to select markets. When people say they have produced something, many times that simply means they brought money to the table in some capacity.
Q: What about the short film you sold to a mega-church?
A: I wrote and produced a short film loosely based on the Book of Job, but done in modern times. My goal was to be able to find investors to then make a feature, but several large churches expressed interest in the story. I ended up selling the rights to one of the mega churches located in the Bible belt.
Q: Tell us about your son, Tyler, and his illness.
A: Tyler is extremely disciplined, which may have a lot to do with us starting him in karate at age three, followed by Muay Thai kickboxing and presently Gracie jiu-jitsu. He happens to have a rare kidney syndrome called nephrotic syndrome. The short definition: There is a malfunction in the kidney’s filtering system causing valuable protein in the blood to leak into the urine. This leakage causes fluid to accumulate in the body and prolonged leakage has been shown to cause kidney failure.
Q: What is the Nephcure Foundation, and how can our readers help Tyler and other children like him?
A: The Nephcure Foundation is an organization that is committed to funding research seeking a cause and cure for those suffering from Nephrotic Syndrome and FSGS. Here’s their link:
People should go to their site and or go to Tyler’s personal page where they can donate to the organization in Tyler’s name:
Q: You've created several YouTube videos about your children. Do you have plans for a bigger project involving them?
A: One never knows. Our mission right now is keeping our daughter, Skylar grounded, which is difficult when she is constantly told how beautiful she is.
Check out the Ransom kids on Youtube:
And, here’s Marlon’s business website:
Mahalo nui loa, Tyler, Marlon, and to all of you Hip Hapa Homeez for your continuing support. We especially appreciate those of our fans who have made the effort to purchase a Hapa*Teez t-shirt. All proceeds support the Watermelon Sushi film and your assistance is very much appreciated. Remember to contact us so that we can give you the rear crawl credit you deserve!
If you haven’t already joined our Hip Hapa Homeez group on Facebook, please do. This is where we keep you updated on news that impacts multicultural communities. Join our Watermelon Sushi Fan page on Facebook, too, so you can stay tuned to the latest about our film. And, check us out on Twitter where we’ve been posting dialogue from the Watermelon Sushi script.
Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
Your Hip Hapa,