After losing her daughter to cancer, a Richmond mom aims to help others in similar situation

Chen is now a “mother” of 23 children who are members of her organization: Gold Ribbons.

Christmas had always been a fun time for Richmondite Ivy Chen and her young daughter, Kelsey.

Although Kelsey had lost her sight due to a cancerous tumor pressing on her optic nerve, the little girl could still “feel the Christmas presents near her heart and then smile,” her mother said.

For Chen, however, that joy was hard to find last year after Kelsey passed away at the age of nine and a half.

But just months after Kelsey died, Chen began using her heartbreak to help other families whose children are battling cancer. The result is the Gold Ribbons, a group that provides care, support and resources to families in those situations.

“Kelsey had always been a robust and sweet sweetheart who believed in the power of kindness. When she was healthy, we had made simple handmade crafts to raise money for children in need. As Christmas approached, she asked me to share her toys with others so that others would feel loved and blessed.

“My mission is to continue her wishes and kind spirit and pass her kindness and love on to other families whose beloved children are battling cancer,” Chen said.

Chen founded Gold Ribbons and is now a “mother” of 23 children who are members of her organization.

Gold Ribbons recently launched a program called “be together” that pairs families with volunteers from the organization to access counseling and help with translation when needed.

Chen also plans to organize a Christmas gift drive to give gifts to families dealing with cancer during the holiday season.

People interested in donating toys or gifts can email for more information.

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