Trying to Meet Her Long Lost Family

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.


 See top
  • Victoria Downing 
    • $10 (Offline)
    • 66 mos
  • Robert Hemphill 
    • $1,000 (Offline)
    • 66 mos
    • $25 
    • 66 mos
  • Karen mcintyre 
    • $50 
    • 66 mos
  • Laura Ruiz 
    • $1,000 
    • 66 mos
See all


Robert Hemphill 
San Francisco, CA
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more