Merry X’mas & Healthy New Year from Mama

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Thank You From The Family

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譚家宜的遺願

ct-and-sa-at-wedding-copy身為母親的已經竭盡全力,身為女兒的已經全力以赴,身為朋友的已共度一段難忘的歲   月。大家的心都在震動,感歎生命的脆弱無常。雖然家宜在紅塵裡的出現與離開是如斯的短暫,她的精神,勇氣,鬥志卻永遠紮根於我們腦海之中!我們實應以她為榮。

若我們節哀,她的靈體思維便會變得穩定。若我們看破生死,她便可突破陰陽。若我們放下悲傷,她便可超脫痛苦,飛越天界,不再輪回受苦。請不要為家宜的離去而傷感。請助我實踐她的遺願,保持幹細胞捐贈的推廣,拯救無耐的華裔血癌病患者。家宜臨終訴說,血癌並非絕對的絕症,乾細胞並非絕對的難求,但時間是絕對的殺手。

馬利蘭州移植告吹後,家宜不甘在多倫多坐以待斃。她言行一致,三日內移居溫哥華。先喜柳暗花明,在溫找到佩對作移植。後悲化療後,心臟過弱,力不從心,移植再道告吹,終踏上人生最後的旅程。

雖然家宜往生極樂,但過去一年自願者對推廣幹細胞捐贈所付出的勞力並無白費。加國血庫豋記網站的官方語言,歷年只有英語法語。現已加入漢語。加國血庫測試綿花捧歷來有限額管制,故去年我們雖付現金向美國購買及求助。現在加國血庫無限量免費供給綿花捧以支持推廣活動。

請再一次鼓勵你身邊的家人親戚朋友,付諸行動,豋記為幹細胞捐贈者,救救仍在死亡邊緣爭扎的華裔血癌病患者,給他們一生存希望,讓他們能與家人繼續一起生活。

譚家宜母親
2009/4/29

MEMORIAL SERVICE detail

Order of Service

Visitation

May 6, 2009 (Wednesday) 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Richmond Funeral Home
8420 Cambie Road, Richmond, BC, Canada V6X 1K1
Tel: +1 (604) 273-3748

Memorial Service

May 7, 2009 (Thursday) 10:00am
Richmond Funeral Home
8420 Cambie Road, Richmond, BC, Canada V6X 1K1
Tel: +1 (604) 273-3748

Crematorium

May 7, 2009 (Thursday) 11:45am
Vancouver Memorial Crematorium
5505 Fraser Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5W 2Z3
Tel: +1 (604) 325-8251

Lunch Reception

May 7, 2009 (Thursday) 1:00pm
Kirin Restaurant
200 Three West Centre, 7900 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC, Canada V6X 1A5
Tel: +1 (604) 303-8833

*It is Carolyn’s wish to minimize black clothing at the service.  White is preferred.

 

Donating to the Leukemia Cause

Canada

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada
This is the charity that Carolyn did her marathon for back in 2007.  She raised C$15,000 for them.
Please click here to donate online, and remember to specify “In the Memory of Carolyn Tam”.
Or you can send a check payable to “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada” to 310-1682 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6J 4S6, with return address, and remember to write “In Memory of Carolyn Tam” on the back. A receipt will be sent to you in return.

Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Bone Marrow Donor Registry
Please send your donation check made payable to “Hong Kong Red Cross” with marking of “In the memory of Carolyn Tam (#555599)” at the back of the check, to “Hong Kong Red Cross Headquarters, 33 Harcourt Road, Hong Kong”. If donation receipt is needed, please also mark your mailing address at the back of the check.

 

Sending Carolyn Flowers

Fannie’s Florist Limited
Pre-arrangement with this florist in Vancouver has been made so that you can place your order by phone or email and have the flowers delivered to the funeral home.
It can be reached at +1.888.303.3927 or by email at info@fannieflorist.ca.

Please provide the following information:
a) This order is for Carolyn Tam
b) Budget (C$100 and up)
c) Credit card info

Carolyn is now in peace.

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1970 – 2009

At 3pm on April 23, 2009, Carolyn was set free from the suffering of this world, with her Mother & brother, Uncle & Aunt by her side.

The past two and a half year has been such a physical and emotional roller coaster for Carolyn, her family, her friends,  and everyone who became part of her life during this time.

Miracles happened when there were seemingly no hopes.  Dreams were dashed when they were the only chance you’ve got.  Friends were made.  Lives were saved.

Its over now.  And Carolyn is now at a better place.

Funeral will take place in Vancouver, Canada on May 7th.  If you would like to attend, please RSVP by clicking here for funeral detail, or visit www.SaveCarolyn.com in the coming week.

For most of you who will not be able to attend, please do this for Carolyn one last time by forwarding the following link to five close friends, and making sure everyone of them become a bone marrow donor.

http://www.SaveCarolyn.com/be-a-donor/

Sincerely,

Family of Carolyn Tam

New Year. New Home. New Hope.

New Year.

The original plan was for my Uncle Lawrence from Vancouver to spend a month in Baltimore to help Mom out before and after the transplant.  When things fell through and we had to return to Toronto, my dear Uncle insisted on spending the month in Toronto anyway to help out and spend Christmas and New Year’s with Mom and I.

It may be mundane at times – three adults with no particular daily schedule except to Princess Margaret Hospital for check ups every other day, but it was sweet and it was precious family time that I’ll always be able to look back at to marvel over the love they have for me. 

We had people over for Chinese hot-pot on Christmas night, and the three of us rung in 2009 with Maria and Tony (West Side Story) on TV.

In the first week of the New Year (a week or so before Uncle Lawrence’s scheduled return to Vancouver), there was still no concrete next step on the horizon – we were waiting for OHIP’s response to our re-application for funding a different procedure at a different hospital in the States.  Assuming that it would take more than a few weeks to hear back from OHIP, and with Chinese New Year around the corner on Jan 26th, we started wondering:  Is it realistic for Mom and I to fly to Vancouver to ring in the Year of the Ox?

New Home.

Very few hospitals in North America offer Haplo-transplant for patients in remission, and even fewer would do it for someone who is not.  Fred Hutchison in Seattle is one of the few who has a protocol for not-in-remission Haplo-transplant, but their program can only take a couple of patients at a time and could not take me right away.  City of Hope in L.A. is the other possible treatment centre, but my blast cells are up to 40% and are now in the peripheral blood, so there is a chance that I may not be eligible for the protocol.  There were a lot of unknowns.  It seemed that it would be mostly waiting for answers in the immediate months, and should I get lucky with either hospital, they are both out West anyway.

So we started wondering again:  If  Mom and I were to just go for regular check ups twice a week while we waited for “The Plan” to materialize, can we do that in Vancouver with family and relatives around to help out?

On Monday Jan 5, 2009, I shared our thoughts about Vancouver with my Hematologist.  By the following Monday, with the help of Uncle Lawrence, we packed up my entire apartment for storage.  And by Tuesday Jan 13, the three of us were on the plane West bound.

The day after our arrival I made my first visit to the Hemotology Daycare Unit at Vancouver General Hospital who was monitoring my blood levels and physical condition thewhile we waited in Vancouver.  Unfortunately for me, I soon developed a fever due to an infection at my Hickman line site, so the line was removed right away and I spent everyday of the first two weeks in Vancouver between the hospital for anti-biotics and home in bed.

On Jan 26th, with the help of a combination of painkillers and the strength of the Ox, I made it out to Chinese New Year/ my dear friend Susana’s B-day dinner with a huge smile and a bigger appetite!

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New Hope.

When we left Toronto on Jan 13,  I left believing that being closer to family and relatives both physically and mentally were what Mom and I really needed, in order to continue down this in this uncertain journey.  Even though I did not know when or whether things will turn out for the better or worse, I trusted that whatever is supposed to happen will happen.

On Wednesday Jan 28th, I went to my new Hematologist at VGH for a post-infection check up.  Afterwards, he told me that VGH has had considerable success with mismatched cord blood transplant.  ‘Mismatched’ means the donor’s stem cells does not match all of the recipient’s antigens, which you have to match 6 for cord blood transplant and 10 for unrelated donor transplant.

Then completely unexpectedly, he told me that they have identified a couple of 4 out of 6 antigen-matched cord blood units for me!!!!  Although first I have to go through a round of chemo to try and put my leukemia back in remission, and if all goes well, then we hope to proceed with a transplant this Spring!

Cord blood transplant, like haplo transplant, is relatively new compared to unrelated donor matched transplant.  There are certainly different opinions about about their long term success rate.  But I right now, I am starting to feel like there may be hope again (which trust me was hard to dig up after coming home from Johns Hopkins).  Not to mention of all places, Vancouver is The Ideal location I want to have the transplant being closer to family and relatives.

It’s been a week since I’ve been at the hospital for my re-induction chemo, and is expected to stay approximately 1 month.  Hopefully, it will successfully bring me into remission, so that I will be eligible for transplant in the Spring!

Miss you Toronto!

And thanks for taking me in Vancouver!

 

 

Click here for your local Registry’s link and REGISTER TODAY to help Carolyn and Others.

Have a magical Christmas from Carolyn and Madellina!

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Click here for your local Registry’s link and REGISTER TODAY to help Carolyn and Others.