By: Karin Olafson, with files from Debby Waldman
Eva Wong and her husband moved to Edmonton from Hong Kong in 1995 because they were looking for a different life — specifically, one that would offer better educational options for their daughter. But Wong would come to learn that the health-care system is a huge part of what makes Alberta a great place to call home.
A couple of years ago, Wong was a caregiver and support person for a friend experiencing cancer. She accompanied them to their appointments at the Cross Cancer Institute and was blown away by the compassion and care she witnessed. She will always remember how the volunteers walked the halls with their cookie carts, offering treats and hot drinks to make the cancer experience just a little more peaceful. She will remember how all the health-care providers went above and beyond to make her friend feel comfortable and get them back to their regular life. Most of all, she was amazed that cancer patients had access to cutting-edge clinical trials without having to pay a dime. Wong says, in Hong Kong, cancer patients have to pay out of pocket for access to the latest treatments and was amazed this isn’t the case in Alberta.
To express her gratitude, Wong became a monthly donor to the Alberta Cancer Foundation in 2020. “We want to contribute more and regularly, so we decided to make a monthly donation,” Wong says. Monthly donors are invaluable as they help to provide sustained and ongoing support.
“Eva’s monthly donations are directed to patient financial assistance. She wants to make sure that anybody who needs care has access to care, even if they are struggling financially,” says Christy Soholt, the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s director of legacy and strategic philanthropy.
The Foundation learned that Wong is also leaving a generous gift from her estate to the non-profit. “If I provide some donation, it might be able to help one more person,” she affirms.
Says Soholt: “Eva told me it’s a no-brainer to give back to this community. I know quality of life is meaningful to Eva, and she really wants to help cancer patients have the best experience possible. Eva thinks it’s really important to do her part because she’s seen the value of philanthropy for cancer patients.”