Our dear co-worker and friend Limin was diagnosed with cancer Spring 2017. She sadly passed away too soon and too young January 27, 2018.
She asked once: Isn’t it so unlucky for a cancer doctor to die of cancer?
Five of us were a month away from graduating from training when she was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer. This picture was taken 1 week before her diagnosis around May 2017. It was one of her last photos.
The summer when she was supposed to be celebrating almost two decades of medical training with her dream job as a cancer doctor, she instead underwent chemotherapy, radiation and a major surgery to remove her esophagus. An anticipated two week post-operation hospital stay turned into two months following multiple complications. She spent Thanksgiving with a chest tube and in kidney failure. During Christmas the cancer spread to her brain and lungs. In the last six months of her life, she was home with her beloved husband and two young children for only ten days.
Limin grew up in China and endured much hardship to complete her medical and research degrees and subsequent medical residency in the United States, all simultaneously raising her two children. We were honored to be her co-workers and friends in Boston during our oncology training, as Limin was a selfless patient-champion. Her cancer diagnosis caused an entire hospital to grieve.
Her husband Sean (Chuanshen), once said that his biggest regret is that after all her hard work and struggle, she did not get one day to work as a full-fledged cancer doctor. Not even one day. It is a senseless loss for her future patients who would have benefited tremendously from her brilliance, compassion and care.
Some people may not know that during the medical training process, there comes a significant financial sacrifice. Sean is also currently in training, and he is unable to make ends meet on his residency salary due to lost wages from family leave, NY rent, sky-rocketing hospital bills (almost 6 months of continuous hospital stay including operations and intensive care units, chemotherapy, experimental therapy, radiation treatments), and basic living expenses for the two young children she left behind (utilities, clothing, food, child-care). The added funeral and cemetery expenses simply deepen the financial burden.
Limin spent her whole life giving to others. Your generosity will go directly to her family and it will help alleviate the financial toxicity and stress of their great loss. They have never asked for help, but as her colleagues who work mostly in healthcare, we know that healing comes both with intangible and practical efforts. So perhaps we can alleviate some of the tangible financial hardships of this new reality.
She wished to see her children go to college, she wished to see her children grow up, she wished to have more time to hug them...
On her last day, her husband shared: …She is such a brave fighter!
In her life before cancer, she has always been brave, and she has always been a fighter.
We are now fighting for you Limin, for your dreams to carry on.
Julie, Kim, Srila, Frank (Class of 2017)
DonationsSee top donations
- Ruqin Chen
- Prajwol Pathak