Update 12 February 2020
Christine is resting at home after successful cancer surgery, thanks to a skillful surgical team, quick action, and most of all the love and generous support from friends here. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but she’s healing quickly now, mentally and physically. The world looks new again, despite HK’s challenges, and she’s looking forward to jumping in again with a fresh perspective. She urges everyone to take care, stay healthy, and get checked regularly even if cancer doesn’t run in the family.
The Situation. In early February, after experiencing severe, prolonged blood loss from the start of this year, my dear friend, Christine was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. Her OB-GYN referred her immediately to a Gynaecological Oncologist, who strongly recommended surgery for a full hysterectomy, and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the uterus and ovaries). Given the long waitlist at public hospitals, the growing influx of suspected coronavirus cases (which are only seen at public hospitals), the strike by public hospital staff, and the need to remove the cancer within the next 1-2 weeks, her surgeon strongly recommended that she admit herself to a private care centre. Christine agreed to be admitted to HK Adventist Hospital for surgery on February 6. Since she is now suddenly faced with considerable out-of-pocket costs, I've started this appeal to our generous community of friends and family to help her shoulder this burden.
Our Friendship. I met Christine in 2016 when we both volunteered to be Mentors to young professional women through The Women's Foundation. We connected immediately. Her mission was to bring sustainability to the financial sector, and to empower young women as she did it. She had established herself as the only independent green finance and climate risk advisor in Hong Kong, bringing deep knowledge and a bright attitude to a very traditional sector. She has shared her knowledge and enthusiasm via her own non-profit educational initiatives in sustainable finance, opening the doors to free public seminars on microfinance, sustainability, gender disparity in finance, and climate risks. She volunteered for a second year of Mentoring in 2018, showing her commitment to gender equality. Apart from our beautiful friendship, I want her to continue to share her knowledge, her positivity, and her commitment to sustainability with the rest of the world.
The Medical Story. The diagnostic biopsy results showed 'Atypical complex hyperplasia with small foci consistent with early formation of well differentiated endometrioid adenocarcinoma'. The surgeon, Dr. Joseph Chan, in addition to removing the reproductive organs, will remove surrounding lymph nodes with the concern that the cancer may have already spread. The cancer will be staged after surgical biopsies have been completed. Our fundraising target was set to cover the consults and diagnostics, recommended surgical procedures, and the most likely post-op treatments. Here's the timeline so far:
Consults, diagnostic biopsies, ultrasound. Jan 24-Feb 1
PET-CT full body scan to detect other occurrences of cancer. Feb 5
Surgery to remove cancerous organs. Feb 6
7 night hospital stay and post-op care. Feb 6-13
Follow-up consults, possible physical therapy for lymphedema (swelling) due to lymph node removal
Funding. As an independent consultant who hadn't experienced even a cold in 10 years, Christine was uninsured when hit with the diagnosis. No insurance will cover pre-existing conditions. She plans to take out a loan to make the payments up-front, but that will leave her virtually unable to support herself while repaying it and recuperating, and we don’t know what other treatment will follow once the cancer is staged. We can only pray that it’s in the early stages. Any amount of funding would be deemed miraculously generous, so please spread the word to your network. Since this website charges a 4% fee, and the credit card companies keep another 2.9%, we've provided other no-fee donation methods:
PayMe (for HSBC customers): Christine Chan +852 6895 8331
If you prefer to direct deposit into her personal account, please email me for the information.
Note: Her linked PayPal account is named 'Future of Finance', after her nonprofit initiative in sustainable finance. Donors can pay via their own PayPal account (4% fee), or with a credit card (2.9% fee).
With all the uncertainty in the world right now, I thank you in advance for your generosity in helping Christine.