How A Single Mom Is Using Her Last Months Of Life To Raise Money For Her Daughter

Ling Li is raising money for 6-year-old Alice to have the resources she needs after she is gone.

Ling Li

When Ling Li was diagnosed with gastric cancer, her first concern was what would happen to her daughter if the illness was to progress.

Now, after almost two years of the aggressive illness, her worst fears have been confirmed. Just one day before Li and her family were preparing to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, her oncologist told her that she only has three or four months to live.

The ordeal has prompted her to launch a fundraiser so her daughter will have financial support when she is gone.


The Houston-based mom was first diagnosed in May 2019 and underwent extensive treatment at the MD Anderson Cancer Center for over a year. This involved several rounds of exhaustive chemotherapy causing her to lose her hair and struggle to have the energy to keep up with her young daughter.

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She also underwent surgery to remove a large tumor from inside her stomach causing her to require a feeding tube in order to receive nutrition ever since.

Prior to her diagnosis, Li had been working to finish a Ph.D. in materials science and had dreams of helping the world develop clean energy technologies. However, this was completely sidetracked by her diagnosis.

Li is a single mom to 6-year-old Alice, and up until recently was her only carer and guardian. Her own mother, 64-year-old Li Teng recently moved to the US from China to support her daughter through her cancer journey.

Now, Li Teng will be left to care for Alice when the child’s mother passes away.


Though a cancer diagnosis and treatment is enough to worry anyone, the added fears about how her daughter and mother will survive after she is gone have undoubtedly made Li’s final months all the more challenging.

To make sure her little girl can be cared for properly, Ling Li has launched a GoFundMe page to raise much-needed funds for her daughter.

The money raised will allow her mother to provide for the young girl since, after only recently moving to Houston from China, Li Teng does not have the income need to support her granddaughter.

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“It's so heartbreaking when I think about what Alice and my mom may have to undergo in the future if I'm not with them anymore since they don't have income,” Li writes on the fundraiser page. “It would be too devastating for them to suffer the economic difficulty while dealing with the loss of my daughter’s only parent and my mom’s only daughter.”


The story has struck a nerve with plenty of generous people offering donations alongside heartwarming messages of well wishes and prayers.

Li describes the donations as her final gift to her daughter writing, “I wish I could celebrate Alice's 60th birthday with her. Instead, I could only accompany her for 6 years.”

Her resilience is striking despite the tragedy of her circumstances.


She writes to her supporters, “I don't want to give up fighting. Please help me and my family.”

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment.