Teresa Gu's Story  -  Mar 17, 2023

Teresa’s Story

We’re Brian and Summia, and we’d like to share our story with you because Richmond Hospital and its compassionate medical experts have played such an important role in our mom, Teresa Gu’s cancer battle.

Our family’s connection with Richmond goes back to 1998 when our mom, Teresa Gu, first moved here. We’ve spent much of our young lives in Richmond with some time back in China.

But Richmond is home, and it has truly been a relief knowing that our mom is in such good hands at Richmond Hospital. That’s why we hope you’ll come back to support the hospital that takes such good care of its community, neighbours, and our loved ones.

They say the two most important things in life are family and health. We all know that’s true, but it’s easy to take these things for granted until a health crisis threatens someone you love….

In December 2020, our mom received the terrible news that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. At first, her doctor didn’t find anything abnormal, but a CT scan at Richmond Hospital revealed the cancer. We were shocked. She’d always been so healthy. It just didn’t seem real. And to learn that the cancer was so advanced was devastating. She had a year or two to live. There was no cure at this stage, only the chance to give her as much time as possible.

Richmond Hospital immediately got her in for surgery. The cancer was low in the colon, which meant a risk of losing part of her colon. So when we heard that the surgery was a success and the surgeons were able to keep everything intact, we were so pleased.

Every two weeks, Mom would visit the Richmond Hospital Cancer Care Clinic for her chemotherapy treatment. She soon charmed everyone there with her warm, friendly personality and optimistic nature.

While Mom’s cancer journey has had its ups and downs, one thing has remained the same – the amazing care at Richmond Hospital. We’ve been so impressed with their expertise and compassion. The medical staff went above and beyond to care for her and her well-being.

That includes her oncologist, Dr. Jeremy Ho, who has made this process so much easier for us by always being available and making sure we understand what’s going on. The first year of her treatment went smoothly, but inevitably, the cancer spread. And we learned just how far, after a frightening fainting spell that happened right before my post-secondary graduation ceremony.

The culprit was a brain tumour, and she was sent to Vancouver for surgery. She came home quickly, but when she started having seizures, she was admitted to Richmond Hospital for a week of care. We were so grateful for the warm, attentive care she received.

Today, she continues to see Dr. Jeremy Ho and visits the Cancer Care Clinic at Richmond Hospital where we feel welcomed as a family. While she has lost some of her mobility and can’t garden or drive anymore, she still finds the beauty in everyday life. For her, every situation has a silver lining. Mom’s courage, positive outlook, and resilience in her fight against cancer has been our encouragement and comfort.

She is such an inspiration to us, and we’re so incredibly grateful for the extra time we’ve had with her as she has already beaten her original prognosis. We have the professionals at Richmond Hospital to thank for that. And people like you. We hope you’ll make a donation today because your support helps the hospital continue giving patients, like our mom, the best health care.

That’s something we try not to take for granted. Every day we get to spend with her is a day we treasure. It’s one more day to make memories together. For our mom, it’s another day to share her joy and love for life. We’ll never forget the day she was diagnosed with cancer. But we’ll also never forget the relief of knowing that we could rely on Richmond Hospital to give her the best chance of being here with us for as long as possible.

That’s what we all want for our loved ones – and the best way to ensure everyone has the best fighting chance is by supporting Richmond Hospital Foundation with a donation.

Your donation will help enhance programs, medical equipment, and technologies so the medical team can focus on providing the best possible care to those who need it. Please donate today. We hope our mom’s journey has inspired you just as she has inspired us. You’ve helped make this possible for families like us who have to battle cancer one day at a time.

With our deepest thanks,
Brian & Summia Zhou
Donors of Richmond Hospital Foundation

Donate now to Richmond Hospital Foundation