About Bill Chu

Bill is the cheerful 9-year-old son of Han and Tu Chu. He has grown up in an immigrant family that has lived in Amherst, Massachusetts for over 20 years. Bill will be entering 4th grade at Wildwood Elementary School, where he enjoys learning and playing with his friends. His favorite subject is math, and he loves swimming. His favorite color is green.

In April, Bill was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy, a kidney disease that turns the kidney’s antibodies against itself and inhibits normal function. While doctors were hopeful about the initial treatment with steroids, that medication did not successfully address Bill’s kidney disease.  The doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts, have recommended a life-saving kidney transplant.


Bill’s Family
Bill was born on October 26th, 2006 as the youngest of four siblings. His parents, Tu and Han Chu, immigrated from Vietnam in 1991 following the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Despite having helped American soldiers during the events of the war, they came to Amherst without a formal education, knowledge of the English language, financial capital, and most importantly, a community. With two small children to care for, as well as Han’s medical condition as an amputee, the circumstances were emotionally and culturally challenging.

With the warm support of the Amherst community, the Chu family worked hard to earn their place as true Americans. With Tu working at UMass to financially support the family, and Han managing the household and spending her time volunteering, the family was able to sustain their immediate needs. Each of the children in the family attended Mark’s Meadow Elementary School and the local regional middle and high schools. Bill’s three older siblings are currently earning undergraduate, doctoral, and medical degrees and the family is still working hard to sustain themselves at the financial minimum. Having lived in Amherst for 25 years now, the Chu family can definitely say they have a new home and a new community.


Fundraising Efforts

Bill’s community is working with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) to raise funds in honor of Bill to assist with transplant-related expenses. Typical expenses can include costs not covered by insurance, medical appointment co-pays, medication co-pays, transportation costs for the many trips to Boston Children’s Hospital, and lodging costs for Bill’s parents to stay in Boston when Bill is in the hospital to receive his kidney transplant. It is anticipated that these costs could reach $50,000.

With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, many transplant families are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure.  The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-related expenses. 

You can also follow Bill's Transplant Journey on Facebook