I received news last night that my friend and co-worker, Ivan Shen, passed away on Sunday after losing a five month battle with cancer. During his career Ivan worked for serialization and pedigree companies including Oat Systems, Reva Systems and SupplyScape (now TraceLink). Many RxTrace subscribers are current or former co-workers or former customers of Ivan.
I met Ivan a few years ago when we both worked for SupplyScape. At that time I was struck by his quick wit and sense of humor. Since that time we both ended up employed by the same company again. When I started the RxTrace blog, Ivan was among my earliest subscribers and I always appreciated his thoughts and comments on my essays.
Ivan was intensely proud of his Chinese…err, Shanghai-ese…ancestry. He was active in his Church. He is survived by a daughter, a sister and his former wife. If the family posts a full obituary I will update this post with a link to it. [UPDATE: Ivan’s funeral will be held in Waltham, MA on Saturday, August 21, 2010. If you want the details, please contact me directly. — Dirk.]
[2nd UPDATE: Click here for Ivan’s Obituary]
[3rd UPDATE: Click here for a slide show featuring great photos of Ivan throughout his adult life]
Back in April, Ivan bought a bicycle and challenged me to a competition to see who would ride his bike to work most often. The first time he rode to work it exhausted him. That was the first indication something was wrong with his health. He didn’t ride again. Tragically, he waited four more weeks before seeing a doctor, with his health deteriorating each day.
Shortly after he was diagnosed, I signed up to ride my bike in the Pelotonia, a cancer fundraiser with 100% of the donations going to fund cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. I dedicated my planned ride to the memory of my father, who died of cancer two years ago, and to Ivan, a “future cancer survivor” as I put it back then. The ride is this coming weekend, August 21, 2010.
If you knew Ivan, you may be interested in donating to fund research that we hope will end cancer as we know it. You can donate generally here, or you can donate through my personal ride page by clicking here. Donations can be made through October 2010. (I do not receive any financial benefit from donations.)
Ivan was a special person. He will be missed.