Eugene Chen and Josephine Yu are the founders of the Ryan Chen Memorial Foundation Fund. Our precious son Ryan was born on May 28, 2011 and weighed 6 lbs and 11 ounces. He was a happy baby and loved being held and snuggled. When he became a toddler, he was full of curiosity and energy. As he got closer to school age, we were astounded by his kindness and thoughtfulness for others and his love for dancing, music, and building puzzles. Just before Ryan was going to enter kindergarten, which he was super excited about, we were hit with the devastating news of a neuroblastoma cancer diagnosis. Our lives changed forever. Ryan fought this battle for over 2 years, but eventually succumbed to his illness on September 19, 2018. Although Ryan’s time on earth was short, his empathy, gentleness, and selflessness were evident to all he touched. He underwent tremendous suffering as he was undergoing treatment, but he never let that define him or dim his spirit. It is because of Ryan that this foundation was created. We are aiming to support pediatric cancer research, care for other families undergoing treatment at the Children’s Hospital, and create an endowment to honour Ryan’s legacy. Ryan’s life was a life unfulfilled, but our goal through the foundation is to bring awareness and provide hope and inspiration to families battling childhood cancer. Eugene is a lawyer by profession and Josephine is a human resources professional.
Pamela Carteri: Josephine and I met when each of our families selected the same downtown daycare for our first born sons as we returned to work in the oil and gas sector. Little did we know that that daycare and those friendships would grow into a feeling of family. With the arrival of another perfectly timed pair of boys for each of us, both our status as boy moms and a lifelong friendship was cemented. In the summer of 2016, as we fretted in preparation for the upcoming transition to school for the oldest boys, the Chen’s world was thrown into turmoil with Ryan’s diagnosis. Bearing witness to the Chen’s journey in the following 2 years was a truly humbling experience in human connection and forever changed my own perspectives on motherhood, presence, and the bond of the villages you choose for yourself. Although Ryan is no longer with us in the physical sense, memories of him and seeing glimpses of his sweet spirit in all our boys brings me joy. My greatest hope is that through the Ryan Chen Memorial Foundation Fund we can continue to spread goodness on behalf of our favourite tiny warrior. Pam is a registered professional engineer with over 15 years in both oil and gas as well as the non-profit sector. Her expertise lies in project and operations management, logistical supports and strategic planning.
Hsiu-Yan Chan: Hsiu-Yan first met the Chens through mutual friends at a birthday party. When Ryan was diagnosed, she followed his journey and has since then been a supporter of his fund. Hsiu-Yan is grateful for the opportunity to celebrate Ryan’s legacy through the Ryan Chen Memorial Foundation Fund. She has served on the boards of Inn from the Cold, the Canadian Propane Association, Huron House Boys’ Home, and Junior Achievement South Western Ontario. She works at Suncor Energy and has held engineering and commercial roles. Hsiu-Yan and her family have called Calgary home since 2012.
Adam Cheng: Adam and his family have known Ryan since he was 6 months old. His wife and Josephine met at a Strollercize Boot Camp class shortly after giving birth to their boys. Their boys developed a life long friendship as has the families. Adam is a Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the University of Calgary. As a scientist and researcher at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, he oversees a program of simulation-based research focused on improving outcomes from cardiac arrest. He co-founded the INSPIRE network, an international research simulation collaborative with over 250 institutions that has fostered the global dissemination of simulation-based research. He has served on the Board of Directors of both the Society for Simulation in Healthcare and International Pediatric Simulation Society. He has provided leadership for various international simulation conferences and delivered lectures and workshops at conferences around the world. Dr. Cheng conducts research with interests in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and debriefing, and has led numerous multi-center simulation-based research trials. He has edited several textbooks and authored various American Heart Association Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation guidelines and scientific statements.
Greg Jerome: Greg and Eugene met at a Charity Golf Tournament over 15 years ago and have developed a close friendship since that time. After retiring from the energy industry in 2021, Greg took a position as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Intellifi Corporation where he also serves on the board of directors. Over a career of 20+ years in the energy industry, Greg worked at several public and private energy companies, most recently Sitka Exploration Ltd., a company he co-founded in 2011 and served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer prior to the sale of the company in 2021. Greg is also on the board of directors of Algonaut Capital.
Greg graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University in 1992 and received his Chartered Accountant designation in 1996 with honors standing. Previously, Greg served on the Board of the Canadian Children’s Brain Cancer Foundation, a registered charity which supports research of pediatric brain cancers.
William DeJong: Bill and Eugene met many years ago as lawyers practising in the same area and eventually ended up being Partners together at the same law firm. Bill and his wife , Franca , revelled in meeting Ryan and hearing stories and watching videos of a wonderful and very energetic young boy ; especially as they had two older boys themselves. Upon learning of Ryan’s diagnosis , and then closely following his challenges , it left a lasting memory of bravery , determination and unwavering spirit . To be involved with the Ryan Chen Memorial Foundation Fund is an honour and privilege.
Bill has more than three decades of practice experience in the areas of securities / corporate finance matters. He is currently Counsel (long-standing partner until 2016) with the international law firm of Dentons Canada LLP. During his career, Bill has been a Director of a number of public companies traded on various stock exchanges including the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) now known as the NYSE American, Toronto Stock Exchange, and TSX Venture Exchange . Bill has many years of community involvement and pro bono experience, serving on various boards and committees, including the Glenbow Museum, Calgary Winter Club, Gold Medal plates, CUPS , and the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta (Budget Director). He currently is on the Strategic Advisory Board for the O’Brien Institute For Public Health. He has also been a member / chairman of various political finance committees for past Premiers, Senator, and Mayoralty candidates. Throughout his career he has been awarded several accolades, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, Alberta Centennial Medal, and the well regarded distinction and recognition as Queens Counsel. He was also a recipient of the Progressive Conservative Party Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award.