Yi Hou is a graduate student in Civil Engineering at Mizzou. He is researching traffic safety and driver behavior for his Ph.D. dissertation. Three years ago, Yi was married back in his hometown in China. His new bride, Rui Ren, joined him at Mizzou as a graduate student in the French department. I would often see them eat their lunch together outside the engineering research labs. You’d be hard pressed to find a more charming young couple.
Rui had been feeling ill for several months before the doctors finally identified the root cause as stomach cancer. She has been receiving cancer treatment at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She is unable to eat on her own and needs to be fed intravenously. Recently, one of her insurance categories maxed out, putting her and her husband under significant financial strain.
But Yi and Rui were not alone in their difficulties. When the Mizzou community heard about their plight, they acted. Students, faculty and staff all worked together to help raise funds for this young couple. The College of Engineering, the MU International Center, the French department, the Friendship Association of Chinese Students and Scholars, the Graduate Professional Council, the Graduate School and the MU Asian Affairs Center all joined forces to promote and assist in fundraising efforts. We had a successful fundraising lunch on May 8 that generated more than $6,000 in donations, and people are still contributing to this cause.
There is a famous quote that says, “Great is charity, for since the day that the world was created until this day, the world stands upon charity.” I am so proud of our Mizzou community who is a modern day exhibit of this ancient quote.
Carlos Sun is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering.