Lolo Lam has a deep sense of gratitude for the sacrifices her parents made leaving Hong Kong so she and her two brothers could have a better life in Canada. She was only a child at the time, but she still remembers her parents taking her to a protest rally during the summer of 1989 after government troops fired on civilians in Tiananmen Square.

Lolo with her Mom and Dad

Now a mother of two young children, Lolo laments the loss of her dad. He died of ALS in 2010. Talking about how this terminal disease trapped him in his own body still brings her to tears. “It is especially difficult during the holiday season when the family gathers and unites,” she says.  “It reminds me that other families are grieving from the loss of their loved ones or are going through their own difficult journey with ALS right now.”

“My parents’ decision to leave Hong Kong had a huge impact on their financial situation. So, to thank them for their selflessness, I‘ve always tried to give back,” says Lolo. “During the holidays, I still take my mom out for an extravagant dinner somewhere to maintain a special tradition I started when my dad was still alive.”

Lolo’s desire to give back has never been more focussed. She is a passionate advocate toward making a future without ALS a reality. “Whenever ALS Canada approaches me for help to raise awareness or fundraise,” says Lolo, “I am there. I’ll do whatever I can.” For seven years running, she has coordinated corporate teams through her work at Equitable Bank and has fundraised over $20,000 for the annual ALS Canada Plane Pull to End ALS, increasing support for the event within her organization every year.

Lolo and her Dad on her wedding day

ALS research is at the top of Lolo’s lists of priorities. “When my dad was sick, there were things I could do to help like attend medical appointments or take night shifts to give my mom a break from full-time caregiving. But it was disheartening knowing there was no cure, and knowing that I would eventually lose him and there was nothing that could be done about that,” she explains.  “Working toward a cure helps me heal,” she adds.

“You always think your parents are going to be around for you. Being hit with the untimely loss of my dad was life-changing,” says Lolo. “He was robbed of the fruits of his labour, precious time with his family, growing old with my mom, spending time with his grandchildren. We were all robbed. We all would have loved more time with him.”

Despite the pain, she refuses to get stuck in a cycle of self-pity. “I have a calling now to honour my dad. If I can help in any way possible, then I’m going to give not just my money but also my time. I know that by supporting ALS Canada, help is going directly to the people who need it.”

“It’s about time that more people get involved,” she urges. “We need you now.”

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