“Remember me, remember us. I love you very much.”
Those touching words are a few taken from a message from Edmond Chan’s late wife, Christina.
She had written it and placed it in an envelope for her husband many years before she lost her 17-year battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
Edmond only discovered it in April this year – seven months after his wife passed away in September 2020 - while going through some of the high school sweethearts’ personal belongings.
It’s a moving love note that continues to drive Edmond to donate blood to the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) – not that the 45-year-old needs motivation, having been honoured earlier this week by CBS at a virtual ceremony.
He was being recognized among other CBS heroes across the country, after passing the 100-donation mark in February this year.
“It was quite surreal being a part of an event with all these medical professionals and volunteers, who were also being recognized,” said Edmond, who now sits at 102 blood donations.
“I just give blood. I just sit on the chair and give blood, that’s all. There were people there who gave organs and there were stem cell donors, which means a lot to me because my late wife suffered from leukemia.
“She needed lots of blood transfusions and received two stem cell transplants just to extend her life. It was a humbling experience.”
Edmond told CBS earlier this year how one of his wife’s co-workers recalled a conversation she had years ago in which Christina mentioned a keepsake that she would leave for Edmond in case she passed.
“We worked out the time frame, and I’m confident Christina put it together back in 2013, when we were starting to accept the possibility we might not grow old together. Yet we still enjoyed seven more years together after that,” he told CBS.
Edmond told of how he met his late wife while they were students at John Oliver Secondary in Vancouver.
They dated for 10 years before they got married in 2001, two years before Christina was diagnosed with leukemia.
In June 2021, Edmond and Christina would have celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary and 30 years as a couple.
“Finding her gift reminded me of how thoughtful and courageous she was. It also reminded me of how she and I approached things, and how I continue to approach things. Every day is a gift,” added Edmond.
“I’m grateful to the donors who helped us throughout Christina’s cancer journey. And I’ll always tell others about how to become a donor and how donors provide hope to patients and their loved ones.”
Edmond, who recently moved from Burnaby to Richmond, where he works in IT project management, said he can donate every eight weeks and aims to keep going to chalk up a second century.
Donors are essential to meeting the needs of patients in Canada. To learn how you can help and to book an appointment, download the GiveBlood app, call 1 888 2 DONATE (1-888-236-6283) or book now at blood.ca.
The next opportunity to donate blood in Richmond will be at the Peace Mennonite Church, 11571 Daniels Road on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. To book your appointment, go to https://myaccount.blood.ca/en/donate/select-clinic?source=blood.ca&apt-slc=Richmond