Lance Chung is gaga for Lady Gaga, but letting go a pair of his own tickets for Friday night’s big concert was worth it, he says.
Chung gave up the tickets — worth $250 — to Kathy Chia, a 22-year-old student from the University of Alberta, as part of a contest he launched after his mother Helena, 49, was diagnosed with stage three multiple myeloma.
It’s the most severe stage of an incurable cancer of plasma blood cells affecting the immune system.
“It was hard for me on Friday and Thursday night because everyone’s Facebook status was buzzing about the concert,” said Chung, a University of Alberta business school student who dropped out of the last semester of his third year of classes to help his mother.
“Until I saw what we were able to achieve from this contest, I have no regrets.”
The “Monsters Against Myeloma” contest raised more than $2,000 for the U.S.-based Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, but Chung says it created awareness “around the world.”
And Hollywood superstar Paris Hilton mentioned Chung’s contest in a tweet on Twitter, Chung said.
“The amount of awareness that we raised was beyond what we originally thought,” said Chung, 21.
Those who took part in the contest were encouraged to raise money for the foundation, and the person who raised the most was awarded the tickets.
Chia said personally raising close to $200 for the cause was more than just about winning the tickets.
“The least I could do was to raise money for the foundation — I didn’t care about winning it,” said Chia, Chung’s former classmate.
“It was a great concert, but (Chung) is a much bigger Lady Gaga fan than I am.”
The former student says plans are already in the works for a second contest that could include a trip to a U.S. destination to see Lady Gaga in concert.
After months of treatment, Chung’s mother, who he affectionately refers to as “mama bear,” is near a remission stage.
It’s expected she will undergo a stem-cell transplant that doctors say should help improve her quality of life.
Ninety-three cents for every dollar raised for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation goes toward cancer research, says spokeswoman Alexandra Karnell.
There are roughly 6,000 Canadians living with Myeloma.
To get involved with the campaign, go to the Monsters Against Myeloma on Facebook, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org