My father lost his battle with leukemia, his passing was very sudden with everything happening in a span of a few months.
He would’ve turned 63 on October 27, 2023 (Sept 18th lunar calendar). He was a healthy and strong man. He walked 10,000 steps every day this year (until the day he was bedridden by his illness). He ate healthily and exercised often. He did everything you would need to do for a long life.
My dad will be leaving behind my mother (63) who can no longer work due to a chronic illness and major surgery done in 2003. She relied heavily on my dad to survive in this society and economic environment.
All money raised will be put towards the following expenses: gofund.me – Zhang Tang Jiang
Funeral costs (Service, cremation, burial, land, etc).
My mom has no income, she is chronically ill and can not work. All collected funds outside of funeral services will go toward helping my mom financially with food, mortgage, bills, and misc living expenses.
It started with a chronic nose infection that took the doctors too long to address, and eventually through all the weeks of checkups and tests. We found out that his platelet counts were dangerously low, but even then the doctors didn’t seem too concerned or there was no sense of urgency whether in the ER or at our family doctor. We kept getting bounced back and forth between our family doctor telling us to go to the hospital and the hospital telling us to go back to our family doctor.
As my dad’s condition got progressively worse, he took all the medical reports, did his own research, and compared the data. He came to the conclusion that it’s what we feared, some likely form of blood cancer. He went to the family doctor and demanded a referral letter to be admitted into St. Michael’s Hospital. That’s when they confirmed in his too many blood tests to even count, that there were an abnormal amount of blast cells, which is an indication of Leukemia.
My dad fought hard every day physically and mentally. He advocated for his own care until the end. After diagnosis and 2 months of battling this disease in extreme pain and suffering, on October 26, 2023 15:44, he was able to finally rest.
This is how my dad has always been his whole life. He was very smart no matter what the topic of discussion was, if he didn’t know he would be attentive, actively listen, and learn. Family was always first, he would drop everything in an instant to help his family and friends. If you knew my dad, he was dependable, he was charismatic, he was gentle and kind, and you would always feel safe in his presence. My dad taught me to always keep learning, it’s okay if you don’t want to do something but you should at least know HOW to do it.
My dad lived a very successful life, growing up in China. He came from a family in poverty that did not have much but family. He had five sisters and two brothers. He was the second youngest.
At 16 years old, he vowed to leave his life of poverty and build a better life for himself, his family, and his future. He left his hometown leaving his family back at home. He and his older brother started a metal fabrication plant. He traveled the country being his own business salesman getting clients from far and wide. He didn’t speak any Mandarin and didn’t know the language at all, the first few years he would turn on the radio and listen to it to sleep. He would negotiate contracts through pencil and paper because he could not communicate verbally. But he still got it done. Eventually, he learned the language and was fluent enough with it, and then began his success.
With the industrial boom, his metal fabrication plant was a huge success. They became the wealthiest family in his hometown and he was the first in his town to own a motorcycle, car, and everything you can imagine. Then he met my mom, he met my mom through one of his closest friends. It was his sister, they eventually got along and started dating. They traveled the country on road trips, and he took her everywhere. My dad promised my mom that when he retired they would live the same life, and travel around Canada/China for the rest of their days.
My mom immigrated to Canada through my grandparents in 1989, and my dad followed the love of his life and left everything behind. He left the company solely to his older brother and made sure his family was taken care of at home. He came to Canada following my mom with only $3,000 and then began his journey to success from 0 again.
He did not speak any English and did not know anyone, for the next decade, he worked multiple jobs doing rigorous labour work and putting his body to the limits. Eventually, he found a job that he had a background in and he is forever grateful for being able to find this opportunity. At Pengelly Ironworks Ltd. my dad started off as an apprentice but he would always strive to be better, to learn from the more experienced, and to apply his own knowledge and methodologies. My dad had the attitude that there was nothing that he could not do if he put his dedication and mind to it.
My dad was a very successful man, and he did a lot of work in Southern Ontario. He did everything from staircases, hand railings, glass installation, elevator frames, and more. And you have all likely seen his work, odds are if you walk or work around the downtown core. My dad’s work is everywhere, from hospitals, office buildings, malls, tourist attractions, theatres, designer stores, and more. His work and imprint on Toronto will be felt forever. He left his wealthy life back home to come to a foreign country taking nothing with him and he built a happy and full life for me, my sister, and my mom again. My dad is truly amazing, he’s the best at everything he does, and there’s so much more we have yet to learn from him.