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Richmond pianist honoured for cancer research work

Libby Yu has been honoured by the BC Cancer Foundation
Libby Yu has been honoured by the BC Cancer Foundation

An award-winning Richmond pianist has been handed another accolade, this time for her work away from the ivories.

Libby Yu is being recognized for her long-time support of cancer research and care in B.C. as the recipient of the BC Cancer Foundation’s 2023 Catalyst Award.

In 2013, Yu’s husband, Clifford So, was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which unfortunately spread to his lungs and brain, before he passed away four years later, leaving behind Yu and their three young children.

Throughout brain surgeries, chemo, stem cell transplants and numerous rounds of radiation, So maintained a positivity fuelled by his faith and a sense of gratitude for the extra time he had with his family thanks to the treatments provided by his team at BC Cancer.

“In fighting his courageous battle, Cliff inspired us all to live and love intentionally,” said Yu of her husband.

“We all have different things to give — there’s wealth and time and talent. Music was a natural way for me to give back.

“It’s my small way of encouraging the community to continue to give.”

Yu has carried on her husband’s spirit of hope through music.

In 2018, she performed in the Recital for Hope, which raised more than $16,000 for testicular cancer research.

And last fall, she performed at three events across the province, celebrating the launch of the BC Cancer Foundation’s $500 million fundraising campaign to transform cancer research and care in B.C.

Yu will be presented with the award during the foundation’s Lunar New Year dinner, taking place on Feb. 2.

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