Stroller Spotlight - Walking for Change: The Ho’s Association
The Ho’s Benevolence Association of BC is a group of more than 20 families, who together, work to raise funds and awareness for various causes – with liver health at the centre of their focus.
The former Association President, the late Dr. Francis Ho, helped guide the Association’s work with the Canadian Liver Foundation, supporting the charity’s work, and paving the way for important liver research and programs.
Since 2014, the Ho’s Association has been participating in the Stroll for Liver, and also taking part and volunteering for other CLF events throughout the years.
Dr. Francis Ho passed away in February, 2021, but the group is determined to carry on Dr. Ho’s mission and passion by continuing to support the CLF in fundraising and education efforts, starting with the Stroll in June.
The Ho’s Association began 20 years ago with more than 125 Ho family members. Today, the membership has evolved to include around 65 members, from across 20 Ho families. Every year the Association focuses on three major events: LIVERight Health Forum; a Chinese New Year fundraising banquet where the families raise scholarship funds for two university students; and, the Stroll for Liver.
Dr. Francis Ho was always dedicated to the Stroll for Liver. Last year at the age of 89, Dr. Ho followed COVID protocols by staying home, but still walked 300 paces around his house each day, up to 5,000 paces, total.
And Dr. Ho wasn’t alone – the Ho’s Association have always given their all to the Stroll. As many of the Ho’s Members are over 75 years old, they tackle the Stroll in their own way – any physical activity counts. Some members walk, stroll through gardens, and move around their houses, while others stretch their arms and minds with Mahjong. Some others take it a step further and pledge to ski, bike and hike their way through the Stroll.
When asked why the group continues to take part in the Stroll, Len Ho, the Association’s Secretary and member for more than 10 years, echoed Dr. Francis Ho’s longstanding commitment to funding liver research, education and liver transplant science – the funding and resources are essential.
Mr. (Len) Ho also brought up another passion area of Dr. Francis Ho’s – Asian and South Asian vulnerability to hepatitis B, something that the Ho’s Association as a whole continues to support and raise awareness for in their communities. Dr. Ho founded and served as Co-Chair of the Hep Beware Project – a free hepatitis B screening program. Through Hep Beware, Dr. Ho dreamed of one day eradicating hepatitis B.
Although Dr. Ho is no longer with us, his spirit continues. The Ho’s Association walks for health. They walk for research. They walk for change.