Peggy Chen-Pei Ho spent only a couple years working at Cincinnati Children’s, but the impact of that experience helped to shape her life and that of her family.
“Cincinnati Children’s sponsored our family’s emigration to America in 1964 and facilitated the many life and career opportunities that we have come to enjoy here,” says her youngest son Peter Ho, MD, PhD. “This memorable experience at Cincinnati Children’s encouraged Mom to continue nursing through the rest of her career.”
Peggy passed away in May at the age of 83 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. In her honor, Peter and his brother, David Ho, had loved ones send memorial gifts to Cincinnati Children’s in lieu of flowers.
“As my brother and I were thinking of how best to honor my mom and to emphasize the things that were important to her and helped us in our lives, it became an easy decision to have the memorial gifts sent to Cincinnati Children’s,” Peter says.
Peggy’s initial contact with Cincinnati Children’s was through a two-year foreign exchange program in the late 1950s. Peggy was a practicing nurse in Taiwan at the time and traveled to Cincinnati Children’s for further training in pediatrics.
In 1964, Cincinnati Children’s invited Peggy back as a full time nurse and sponsored a work visa, which allowed her family to emigrate to the United States from Taiwan; Peter was 4 and David was 13. During the first year in the US, their father was captain of a ship in the merchant marine. When he got a job as a port captain in New York City, Peggy and her sons moved there to join him.
“It was difficult for mom to leave Cincinnati Children’s since she’d had such good experiences there – both personally and professionally,” Peter says. “It had given our family a new beginning in the US.”
Today, Peter is a pediatric cancer physician and lives in Delaware with his wife, Hui Ping. David is an engineer living in Hong Kong with his wife, Lisa. Each brother has two children.
Friends and family contributed nearly $3,000 to the medical center in Peggy’s honor.
“It felt quite gratifying to be able to give back to the hospital,” Peter says. “My mom would have been pleased.”
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