SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: THANHTHUONG LE
Freedom. It may be just a word to some, but it means a lot to Thanhthuong Le, a native of Vietnam who emigrated to the United States more than 30 years ago.
“I love living in America,” said Le, 71, who has been a resident of New Community Hudson Senior in Jersey City for the past nine years. “It’s different than Vietnam. Sometimes I have freedom over there, but here everybody has freedom.”
Despite health problems which limit her mobility—she suffers from diabetes– Le is still a vital part of the residential community in the eight-story Hudson Senior, one of New Community’s most diverse buildings. She serves as an interpreter for other Vietnamese residents, especially on health issues, and also makes herself available when there are gatherings taking place.
“She is always the first to show up at Hudson Senior social events and also the most energetic participant,” said Tao Ho, care coordinator for the building. “…In many ways, she is the godmother of the Vietnamese population at Hudson Senior.”
Le explained that she really enjoys fixing food for functions held downstairs in the building’s community room.
“We have parties all together- Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, American…everybody gets together. Everybody is friendly and I have made many friends,” Le said.
The daughter of a physician and homemaker, Le is the mother of three grown children, including Sandy Le, the property manager at Hudson Senior. One child remains in Vietnam. She also has three grandchildren.
“My children love me,” Le said, noting this makes her feel very happy.