In memory of
Keith Chi Keung Cheung
January 5, 2021
Keith Chi Keung Cheung passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 with his family by his side. Dear brother of Alice Cheung (Chi Ming Tam), Walter Cheung (Doris Tsang), and Janice Cheung (Ian Heppell). Beloved uncle of his nephew Cheuk Lun Cheung and nieces Zin Ling Tam and Zin Yan Tam.
Keith was born on August 30, 1959 in Hong Kong. After finishing high school at Pui Shing Secondary School, he came to Toronto to further his education. With no financial support back home after his father’s sudden death in 1979, it was challenging for Keith to make ends meet as a foreign student in an expensive city like Toronto. But being resourceful and determined to continue his study, Keith worked as a waiter in a Canadian Chinese restaurant where he honed his skill at building a nice rapport with all walks of life that came through the door. Even after he left the waiter job decades ago, Keith as a customer remained genuinely warm and friendly to all restaurant staff. And the staff would reciprocate by coming over to say hello, linger to chat or crack jokes with him.
Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree in Economics at York University in 1985, Keith was awarded with a full scholarship for his postgraduate studies. After earning his PhD degree in Economics in 1996, Keith started his academic career by teaching at his alma mater, then taught at Brock University from 1994 to 1996. He then landed a faculty position with the Odette School of Business, University of Windsor, and became a tenured professor in 2005.
Over a span of 20 years, Keith published numerous books, book chapters, research articles, conference proceedings and received a number of teaching accolades. He was absolutely passionate about his job both as a researcher and an educator. This passion burned bright to the very end. Keith finished a book project in August (to go on sale in Spring 2021) and published his final research article in November, 2020. Despite his declining health, Keith was steadfast in keeping his teaching commitment of three undergraduate courses in the Fall term of 2020.
Keith was a loving son and a caring brother. After he obtained his permeant residence in Canada, he sponsored his widowed mother and two younger siblings to unite with him in Toronto in 1991. Family bond was important him. Of the four siblings, Keith was most likely to initiate a family get together, be it a summer holiday travelling to Hong Kong or a bountiful feast to celebrate the Middle Autumn festival. Thanks to him, the siblings had many happy, sweet memories together with their late mother before she died in 2019.
Keith had a close call with death twenty years ago. When he was first diagnosed with an uncommon intestinal cancer called GIST in December 2000, the disease had already spread to the liver. Back then GIST patients often had limited treatment options with mediocre efficacy, which meant the cancer would come back with most certainty after 2 to 3 years. His prognosis was grim. The treatment plan put forth by the specialists was a high-stakes gamble. He had his entire stomach, the primary tumor site removed first, which took seven hours on the operating table, leaving a Mercedes-Benz scar across his abdomen. In April 2001, six weeks after his surgery, Keith was among the first patients prescribed a new kind of chemo drug called Gleevec in a clinical trial for his secondary tumor in the liver. Gleevec soon became a “miracle” darling drug hailed by many media outlets. The gamble paid off. Gleevec rewarded Keith with two splendid and vibrant decades, and made him the longest surviving patient in the original clinical trial in Toronto. And Keith was a “celebrity” at the Mt. Sinai GIST clinic.
Alas, even a miracle drug has its sinister side. While Keith’s cancer remained in check with the daily pill of Gleevec, it also irritated his lungs, causing inflammation, a rare but a deadly side effect. This inflammation suddenly became aggressive in late summer 2020 and Keith began to experience chest pain and shortness of breath. Although he eventually stopped taking Gleevec, the damage to his lungs seemed irreparable, and ultimately caused his respiratory failure.
Death came to Keith with both speed and gentleness. He was still sitting and talking to the nurse who visited him on January 4.He then told the family that he was sleepy and went to bed. With no signs of pain or struggle, Keith drifted into a deeper slumber and his final breath left him 24 hours later.
Keith was taken from us too young. His generous and gregarious nature will be greatly missed.
About a month prior to his death, Keith was baptized. Fellow Christians are confident that all believers will one day be reunited with him in the heaven.
A celebration of Keith’s life will take place at a later date. In the meantime, we encourage family, friends, colleagues, and students to sign the online guestbook and share their stories or photos at https://mountpleasantgroup.permavita.com/site/ChiKeungCheung.html or email directly to email@example.com
張志強Keith於2021年1月5日（星期二）在多倫多的家人陪同下在家里平安離世安息主懷。他家庭中共有四兄弟姊妹, 大家姐張麗嫦（姐夫譚志明），三弟張志奎（弟婦曾玉玲）和四妹張麗雯 (妹夫Ian Heppell)。後輩有他的侄兒張卓倫和外甥女譚羨靈和譚羨恩。
志強（Keith）在1985年獲得約克大學經濟學學士學位後，他更獲得了全額獎學金攻讀研究生課程。 Keith在1994年至1996年通過在Brock大學任教, 和在1996年獲得經濟學博士學位後，開始了他學術階梯的職業生涯。隨後，他在溫莎大學Odette商學院任教，在2005年聘任成為終身教授。
20年前志強本來快要死了。當他於2000年12月首次被診斷出患有罕見的稱為GIST的腸癌時，這種疾病已經擴散到肝臟。那時，患有GIST的患者通常只能接受有限的治療選擇，且療效一般，這意味著癌症可能會在短短幾年後復發。他當時的情況並不樂觀。專家們提出的治療計劃是一場賭注很高的賭博。他全肚子，首先切除了原發腫瘤部位，這在手術台上花費了七個小時，其後導致 [奔馳式] 的疤痕覆蓋了他的腹部。然後在2001年4月，他在肝癌繼發性腫瘤的臨床試驗中成為首批使用一種名為Gleevec的新型化療藥的患者。Gleevec這化療藥很快成為許多媒體所稱讚的“奇蹟”寵兒。Gleevec給志強（Keith）兩個輝煌而充滿活力的十年，使他成為多倫多最初的臨床試驗中倖存時間最長的患者。志強 （Keith）在Mt. Sinai GIST診所己被視為“搖滾巨星”。
(註: Keith在2020年12月10日已經受洗禮歸信主基督, 教友們深信所有信主的人有一天都會在天家與他重逢和相聚)
記念追思志強一生日子的追思會將在日後舉行。其間同時，我們歡迎和鼓勵親戚，朋友, 同事, 和學生在以下位置分享他們的故事和照片 https://mountpleasantgroup.permavita.com/site/ChiKeungCheung.html 或直邮到 firstname.lastname@example.org