Disqus

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cheryl Chow is Dying of Brain Cancer

In sad news yesterday, former Seattle Board Director (and President), Cheryl Chow revealed that she has brain cancer and not much time.  Chow is 66.

She also revealed that she is gay.  From the KING 5 report:

Parents and kids, don't be afraid of saying that you're gay. I was afraid for over 60 years and those 60 years were wasted,” she said.

Chow, 66, says she feared the reaction of the Chinese community and her mother, restaurateur and King County Councilmember, Ruby Chow, whom she wanted to please.


She said her mother, in fact, was one of the first owners in town to welcome gay organizations to her restaurant.


“However, that didn't mean that she wanted me to be gay,” said Chow.


Chow has been a public servant, both on the Seattle City Council and the School Board.  For nearly her entire adult life she coached the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill team and  told them to feel good about who they are.

She showed her typical humor in this exchange:

Asked if she still thinks she'll get some pushback from the Chinese community, Chow says,”No, they can't do anything to me now. What are they going to do, kill me?”

From the story:

Chow and Sarah Morningstar, an assistant principal, have been together for 10 years. They began running marathons because training was a way for them to be together in public.

Last month, Chow became a second adoptive parent to Morningstar's daughter, 4-year-old Liliana. The family celebrated with a trip to Disneyland.


“If I can save one child from feeling bad or even committing suicide because they felt terrible because they were gay, then I would have succeeded in my last crusade,” said Chow.

I had a gut reaction to this story because it relates to some parts of my life and I send good karma to Cheryl and her family and thank her for courage and her service.  It is a humbling story.

8 comments:

Jet City mom said...

Cheryl has always been very hard on herself and in some ways I think that limited her effectiveness, but she has always been committed to the Seattle community- especially the kids.

I feel bad that she applies " a waste", to her life. Perhaps she is frustrated & guilty that she hasn't been more open with her personal life, but she has a family that she loves- and she has made a difference to a lot of people, how is that a waste?

seattle citizen said...

Ms. Chow is one of our city's most active citizens, and for this I thank her sooo much. She has been doing things for the people of her/our city for decades, and you can't ask much more of a human being.
These recent disclosures continue her service to our city and the world, particularly, as she noted,to children: “If I can save one child from feeling bad or even committing suicide because they felt terrible because they were gay, then I would have succeeded in my last crusade."
Her comment was also brave, tho' one mourns why these expressions need still be brave in our increasingly open and compassionate world...I guess one must still brave the slings and arrows of injustice, of intolerance.)
She, Ms. Morningstar, and their families will be in my thoughts and prayers in the coming months.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts go out to her. She's always been working for others. That's how she'll be remembered. I haven't always agreed with her decisions but I'm glad she has personal happiness to match her years of service. She can live the rest of her life for herself.

Mr. White

Floor Pie said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing it here. I wish Ms. Chow and her family the best.

Jan said...

Melissa -- the comments above are wonderful, but I have no clue as to whether Cheryl will ever see them (and know how highly people regard her years of service to the community). Do you know of anyone who has an address (either snail mail or email, but not facebook) where people can send thanks and messages of support?

Janis said...

Jan -- Cheryl's partner, Sarah Morningstar, is the assistant principal at TOPS, where my kids go to school. I was already planning to send these posts to Sarah. I know she'll appreciate them.

NESeattleMom said...

Miss Chow was my PE teacher at Hamilton. I have a very positive memory from that time

NESeattleMom said...

Miss Chow was my PE teacher at Hamilton. I have a very positive memory from that time