Trying to Meet Her Long Lost Family

$4,400 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 62 people in 45 months
For 40 years, Cui Mei Chen has had nothing more than a dozen letters and 5 or 6 photos of her immediate family, some of whom she last saw 80 years ago, and others she's never met at all. 

Our Story on NBC Bay Area News

How is it possible an 82 year old woman has never met her full blooded siblings? 

Chen was left behind at age 5 when her parents left China in hopes of finding a better life.  War not only caused their departure, it prevented them from later retrieving her.  Meanwhile, they had 5 more children in their new country, Malaysia.

Chen's parents left her in the care of a cruel grandmother who soon died leaving her to fend for herself.  As a child she wore tattered clothes and had little to eat.  She was forced to eat food so bitter it was normally reserved for pigs.  She had a sister who was sent off with strangers to a faraway village in search of food; they never saw each other again for 38 years.  When her grandmother died, Chen was left in the hands of a swindler who made off with the funds meant to raise and educate her.

From the time she was 5, Cui Mei Chen would see her mother just once more, and never saw her father again.

(go to the link below to read about her amazing life!)

Seventy-seven years since her parents left, and nearly 40 years since her last contact with her family, Cui Mei Chen is getting ready to finally meet her surviving three brothers and one sister!

She can’t go alone and the tickets are expensive!  

We need your help getting Cui Mei Chen to Malaysia to meet her remaining sister and three brothers!

All the remaining brothers and sisters (2 have already died) are in their 70's and 80's, and this will likely be the only chance for all of them to meet.  This will be their first meeting, and most likely their last.

Chen's dream is to make it to Malaysia and make one last visit home to China.  Her 8 grown children and their spouses want to accompany her on this emotional journey, but it's not easy.  Pulling together the resources to join her is tough for some and impossible for others.  Already, some have said they can't come.  Cathay Pacific's website says the trip will be $1200 per person.  Plus there's hotels and food, and time lost from work.  So, the costs are enormous for a large family.

We're hoping we can help cover part of the costs because we can't send an 82 year old woman to Malaysia alone!  This is a big trip -- San Francisco to Kuala Lumpur takes more than 20 hours!

Our initial goal for this GoFundMe campaign was $1200 -- enough to cover Cui Mei Chen's airfare.  Thanks to the generosity of our first donors we have already surpassed that mark!  But, we still need your help so her children can join her.   Overall costs are projected to exceed $10,000.

YOU CAN HELP . . make this dream come true!

Check out the full version of Cui Mei Chen's AMAZING story on facebook       (no facebook account needed!):

(click on the link below)

Facebook members, be sure to "LIKE US"!


FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a close friend of Cui Mei Chen's family. My role in the campaign is only as author and organizer. Cui Mei Chen's daughter will receive and distribute the proceeds of this campaign on behalf of her family.


At the top is the 50+ year old photo Cui Mei Chen keeps near her dresser. It is the most up-to-date photo she had of her family until last year. Her siblings, standing behind her parents, are all now in their 70's!

Below is Cui Mei Chen, age 82.

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It's 10:30 PM on March 30, and we're heading to the airport! Stay tuned for updates (if we have internet access in Malaysia and/or China!).
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Well, we've done it! We've exceeded our original goal of funding a ticket for Cui Mei Chen, and we've exceeded our stretch goal to help some of Cui Mei's children accompany her! We've got a little "extra" money which we're looking into using to hire a videographer to capture some video of this once in a lifetime event. This might be tricky as time is short, and communicating across time zones is not easy. Any contributions we receive at this point will be allocated toward documenting as much of this incredible trip as possible! Thanks so much for all your support!
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Well, this has been an amazing campaign so far! Thank you everyone for your contributions! We've managed to pay for Cui Mei Chen's airfare and had enough money to spare to bring ONE of her EIGHT children with us. If we can still raise a little more money, we'll be able to bring one or two more of Cui Mei's children who, for their entire lives, have had no cousins, no aunts and uncles in their lives -- UNTIL NOW! We have a few more days before the trip. If you're new to our campaign, PLEASE HELP US MEET OUR GOAL OF $3500! That will help two more children come with Cui Mei!

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We've now got Rewards Levels! Already donated? You will be rewarded accordingly! You can add to your contributions if you want to reach a higher reward level!
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Read a Previous Update

$4,400 of $3,500 goal

Raised by 62 people in 45 months
Created February 18, 2015
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Victoria Downing
44 months ago (Offline Donation)
Robert Hemphill
44 months ago (Offline Donation)

As organizer of this campaign, I've been planning this contribution to help Cui Mei's family reach their goal, but Laura Ruiz beat me to it!! Thanks so much Laura! You are the hero among heroes of this campaign!!

44 months ago

Best wishes for this momentous reunion!

Laura Ruiz
44 months ago

I can't wait to see photos of Cui Mei Chen with her family. I hope that this is everything she wishes for and more. Laura @gofundme.

Madelaine Georgette
44 months ago

Have a marvelous, memorable journey. You will always remember this. Enjoy and travel safely.

Vanessa Zhong
44 months ago

We are family

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