Sunday, April 21, 2013

TING AND I, Tribute to Tina Su Cooper from Brother, Dr. E. Y. Su

Eugene Y. Su, Tina’s beloved younger brother, writes:

As the younger brother of Tina, I suppose I have known Tina for more years than most. Time passes by, and many memories fade and/or become a little blurry. At this point, more of my impressions and memories are related to adult life, and the growing-up period seems quite distant.

Tina was a strong and athletic adolescent and teenager; and while she did not play any sports formally, none of us Su children did. We were expected to be nice and good, caring individuals who studied hard and worked hard, although not necessarily played hard. Unlike me, Tina excelled in music and was an accomplished pianist by the time she went to college at Cornell.

I remember her going to off to college, and leaving the house. This seemed like a very large step to me at the time. So much can happen in college, like dating….

Subsequent years seemed to fly by. I also went away to college, and then was in “survival mode” during medical school and residency. In college I also met my future wife, Christy, a blond (as in non-Chinese) Caucasian. We married and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where we raised two daughters and took care of my (our) parents from 1995 to 2009, our father passing away in 1996 and our mother, in 2009.

My parents, especially my mother, were devastated when Tina was diagnosed with MS and watched helplessly as Tina’s condition worsened. As the younger brother and as a physician, it was painful for me to see Tina’s physical debility inexorably progress to the point of total paralysis of all extremities, ventilator dependence, and feeding tube, requiring constant 24-hour care and monitoring.

The good news is the Doug and Tina story, and indeed this is a true story of almost unbelievable proportions. To be able to live one day at a time and to actually enjoy each and every day is something we all seek and yearn for but seldom achieve, and I am thankful to God that there is this small miracle in Doug and Tina’s everyday lives.

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