Lynn Yu gave birth to her daughter Elysia in St. Louis while her husband, Xuguang Pang, MD, trained as a physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Now back in her native China, she’s found a special way to teach her daughter the importance of giving back while helping other patients going through challenging times.
Lynn, a banker based in Shanghai, lived in St. Louis in 2013 while her husband, Xuguang Pang, MD, studied thoracic surgery at Barnes-Jewish. During this time, she gave birth to a beautiful daughter she named Elysia. Lynn’s pregnancy had some complications; Elysia was a small baby and Lynn had frequent appointments during her pregnancy to make sure both mother and child were safe and healthy. The hospital’s social work department helped her navigate the world as a first-time expectant mother far away from home.
When Lynn returned to China after Elysia’s birth, she and her husband were looking for a way to give back.
“We are quite happy to try every way we can to do something for the hospital and the people in St.Louis to pay back how we’ve been supported in the past,” Lynn says. “There is an old Chinese saying, ‘A drop of water shall be returned with a burst of spring.’ It means even if it was just a little help from others, you should return the favor with all you can when others are in need. That’s what I have always been taught.”
According to Chinese tradition, during the Chinese Luna New Year, people from the elder generation give special red envelopes to children and young adults. These envelopes often contain “lucky” money that represents best wishes for the new year; their red color symbolizes vitality, enjoyment and good luck.
Elysia, now 4, receives these red envelopes each year from her grandparents and other relatives.
“We discussed the importance of giving back with Elysia and decided to donate the red envelopes to the hospital where she was born to help people going through difficulty,” Lynn says. “We send this gift to the Foundation each year during Elysia’s birthday month of October. The acknowledgement letter she receives from the Foundation is the best and most meaningful birthday gift for her.” Lynn continues: “We try to influence Elysia with our words and deeds that charity is a way of life. We hope she grows up to be a nice and helpful person with a kind and thankful heart.”
The family’s gifts to the Foundation’s Organ Transplant Services Fund support patients as they go through their difficult transplant journey. The area is particularly meaningful to the family. Lynn’s husband’s specialty as a physician is lung and esophagus-related surgeries, including lung transplantation. In addition, Lynn’s own father passed away while on dialysis after being diagnosed with renal failure. He never had the opportunity to receive a potentially lifesaving kidney transplant.
“I hope a family’s economic situation will no longer prevent patients suffering from renal disease or other organ failure from getting good and timely treatment,” Lynn says. “We hope this will help transplant patients live longer and embrace their new lives!”
She continues: “We are so happy to be of any help even if our donation is just a drop of water in the endless sea.”