September 26, 1988 – September 10, 2013
There are things that happen in life that we can't adequately explain why. One of these things is why the life of a young, beautiful woman, in love and full of potential was taken so suddenly and tragically. Joanna was often known for her infectious smile and was the kind of person you would have like to have known, whose presence simply put you at ease. Joanna is the daughter of first generation Chinese immigrants and the youngest of three children; parents Hang and Kitty and brothers Jason and Jeffrey know that her love and the beautiful memories will outlast the pain of grief. Joanna's short yet full life is a tale of inspiration and a lesson about life. Joanna was born and raised in Kingston attended KCVI where the early signs of her ambition and aspirations began to bloom. At KCVI, she was elected as head girl of the school, served on the student council, won the Peter Milliken Award for outstanding leadership, won the math award and was on the cheerleading team. Her next journey led her to McMaster University in Hamilton where she graduated with an Honours degree in Medical Radiation Sciences to be an Ultra sonographer and clinically trained in Hamilton, London, Toronto and Ottawa. Impressed by her qualifications and smitten by Joanna's smile, The Ottawa Hospitals offered to secure her with full time employment at all three of their campuses even before she had graduated. As she transitioned into a young talented woman, Joanna's compassion and desire to explore caught fire. For vacation she flew to Costa Rica to teach English for youth at risk, and during her reading week she went to South Carolina to build homes for Habitat for Humanity. She explored South Korea to learn culture; travelled to both coasts of Canada for adventure. Joanna not only climbed the mountains of Montana in Machupicchu at an altitude of 3082, sandboarded in Peru but also shared her beautiful smile in Bolivia, Cuba and many other different places in Europe. Truly, Joanna's smile, radiant as her spirit, reflected her optimistic outlook, her loving nature, and her zest for life. Anyone would describe this as a rich and colourful life, yet become lost for words as to why such an inexplicable accident had to end her life so soon. What we may come to terms with is that Joanna did not take her time on this earth for granted. She taught us that time is our only real currency and we should it spend it to its fullest no matter how little time we may perceive to have. Our family wishes to extend our sincerest, grateful appreciation to the volunteers and local authority staff members in New Zealand and in Canada. Arrangements for Funeral service will be held by JAMES REID FUNERAL HOME and the specific date and time will be announced later. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made through The Ottawa Hospital Foundation's Joanna Lam Memorial Fund on their Facebook page.
Published in The Ottawa Citizen on Sept. 28, 2013