Myasthenia Gravis (MG) is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that affects the skeletal muscles of the body. These muscles are responsible for breathing, seeing, swallowing and moving parts of the body. Cases of MG have increased four fold in BC over the last 20 years.
“The Kong Family’s donation has been vital in our efforts to develop better and more accurate tests for this disease,” says Dr. Hans Frykman, Medical Director of UBC Hospital’s Diagnostic Services Laboratory. “Hundreds of additional patients across Canada will now be diagnosed and cured thanks to this gift.”
“Research for this disease is really underfunded so that’s why we made this specific donation,” Eric Kong explains. “One day we hope to find a cure for this life-threatening and debilitating disease.”
In the last year of Eric’s mother’s life, the staff at VGH took great care of Lily, who was suffering from MG.
“She was at VGH quite a bit,” says Eric.“But they made it as comfortable as they could for her. I’ll never forget that.”
To show their gratitude, Eric and his two brothers, David and Alan, started the Yiu Wah Kong and Lily Kong Legacy Fund, named after their mother, Lily, and their father, Yiu Wah, who passed away in 2016. The fund has generously donated $562,000 to the Neuromuscular Diseases Unit and the Neuro-Immunology Laboratory.
“We’re giving back because the staff at VGH really took care of my mom in the last year of her life and that means so much,” Eric says, smiling. “My family was really struck by how incredibly compassionate and professional the doctors and nurses were at the hospital. We wanted to say thank you.”