Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 18th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> Hakka Nurse Fighting against Cancer Nadia Chun-Yueh Che
【Turn Disease into Love for the World】
 

I started to fight against cancer in 2009 and the disease made me feel that life is capricious and the time is pressing, and it changed my attitude towards life. Everyone will pass away. No exception. When I’m gone, I may not be able to take anything with me; I simply hope I can leave something behind: my passion and love for life.
-Nadia Chun-Yueh Chen

 
 
Turn Disease into Love. Go with all her might.
All the way from Taiwan to Saudi Arabia, and then to the land of the long white cloud, Nadia Chun-Yueh Chen traveled. She is the youngest nursing supervisor of all Saudi history when she served there. She is the first Chinese insurance agent who became a Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) member in New Zealand. From a nurse to a life fighter, she has decided to speak at 1,000 sharing events to tell people how she cherishes life in a positive manner, never gives up, and therefore changes her life and brings miracles.
With the unyielding Hakka spirit, Nadia flew to Saudi Arabia all by herself to work as a nurse in her twenties. Over the 11 years spent there, she tied the knot, became a mother, and blended in the locals. Before she turned 30, she was promoted to be the nursing supervisor of the kidney center at Jeddah King Fahd Hospital because of her excellent performance at work. She became the youngest nursing supervisor of Saudi history. After the upheavals of Gulf War in 1991, her family immigrated to New Zealand in 1994.
Introverted, she started out her insurance agent career in New Zealand with zero sales experience and no connection. To people’s surprise, she became the top agent of AMP for six consecutive years, and the first Chinese MDRT lifelong member in New Zealand. In 2001, she established Jia Nan Insurance Consulting to help more and more overseas Chinese. She was also very dedicated to public affairs and exercised her global connections to help boost everyday diplomacy.
 
Never Give Up, Hakka Spirit
As Nadia was having the time of her life, however, she was diagnosed of cancer. She turned from an insurance agent to a beneficiary. She did not complain; rather, with her extraordinary perseverance, she obtained a PhD in business management. She further planed to speak at 1,000 sharing events to share her personal experience to raise people’s awareness of healthy lifestyles.
From Taiwan to Middle East, to New Zealand, Nadia turned from a nurse to a fighter of life, and turned disease into love to make Hakka spirit known. She spread seeds of health, hope, and love, and encourages people to live up their life. Don’t wait. Don’t be afraid. Don’t complain. We cannot decide what we get in life, but we can decide how we use what we have. She is truly an encouraging and perseverant angel fighting against cancer. This year, she won the 18th Love of Lives Medal out of 2341 candidates from around the world.
 
Aspired to be Taiwan’s Nightingale
Born in Guanshan, Taidong, Taiwan as the youngest daughter in the family, Nadia has three brothers and two sisters. Her father was a government worker. Her mother was a Hakka housewife who took care of the whole family. When Nadia was seven, her mother died of kidney failure in Mennonite Christian Hospital in Hualian due to long-term fatigue. Seeing how the medical staff took care of her mother, Nadia had aspired to be a nurse to “light on others and consume herself” as a candle, and extend her care and help to more and more people in need.
Nadia’s mother died young; her siblings were away for school. She, therefore, had been very independent since young. At the age of 16, she left her hometown alone. After hours and hours of bus ride, she arrived at a nursing school in Pingdong. There, she received professional nursing training and realized her dream of becoming a nurse.
Upon graduation, she began working right away to help put food on the table. With a stable job, she was not satisfied. One day, she read from the newspapers that the government was recruiting nursing professionals to join a medical team, which would be posted to Saudi Arabia. Dreaming big, she decided to go and see what the world has to offer out there. For her preparation for the qualifying exam, she signed up for an English class, where she met her future husband, who was also learning English for the preparation of working overseas.
 
The Youngest Nursing Supervisor in Saudi Arabia
Fortunately, Nadia was recruited to join the team, even though she was only in her early twenties. She flew with her barely acquainted coworkers to the foreign land. Before this, she had never spoken a word of English, nor heard any Arabic word. She embraced the challenges along the way and never gave up. She had never spoken Arabic to anyone until one day; she did her first try for helping a patient and earning his trust. An Egyptian doctor there eventually realized that Nadia was able to speak.
She settled down and started a family in Saudi Arabia. Over her eleven-year stay as a nursing professional, Nadia had been helpful and passionate about helping people. She was highly recognized by many. With recommendations from the officers, she was promoted to be the youngest supervisor of the medical team with members from over 20 countries, at the age of 29. She led the beautiful team to go through the Gulf War, and overcome plenty of challenges, after which she turned ever more perseverant and self-dependent. A new world has opened up in front of her.
 
War Knows No Mercy. Moving to A Different World.
1991, Gulf War began. Saudi Arabia was in chaos. Due to her holding a public-worker passport, Nadia was not allowed to return to Taiwan. She, at first, couldn’t make up her mind to send her children to Taiwan, so she kept them close. As Iraq’s gas and bombing attacks threatened their safety again and again. Finally with the help of an Arab prince, Nadia sent her children to her sister and mother-in-law in Taiwan.
Although Saudi Arabia did escape the deadly war in the end, Nadia and her husband had known too many broken hearts. For the children’s safety and future developments, the couple immigrated to New Zealand, the clean hometown of the long white clouds.
 
Warm-hearted Insurance Agent Began Her Career
When Nadia first moved to New Zealand, she wanted to work as a nurse still. Her license, however, was not valid in the country. As she prepared for the local nursing licensing exam, she used her language skills to help Chinese immigrants to communicate with insurance companies for claims on the side. Because of her warm-heartedness, she began to learn about insurance and was intrigued. Without any work experience in the field, she failed to get any insurance-related job. Nevertheless, she never gave up. With her earnest attitude, she finally won an opportunity to work for AMP and began her career as an insurance agent.
No experience, no connection. She started her career in a foreign country from scratch. With her passion, she became the champion sales agent at AMP and topped the sales ranking for 6 years in a row. She has been a full member of the MDRT for 17 consecutive years and is the only Chinese in New Zealand that has accomplished this achievement, and become a big name in the industry. Meanwhile, she has been dedicated to charity and elected as the first female president of World Federation of Chinese Traders Alumni (WFCTA.) She is also the winner of WFCTA Global Chinese Traders Award for Outstanding Achievement.
 
Cancer as An Inspiration of Life
In 2009, as Nadia was successful both in career and family life, she was diagnosed with stage III endometrial cancer. Caught off guard, she still pulled herself together to face the unexpected challenge. She went through several major operations and 25 radiation therapies. After the therapies, she has realized that life is uncertain, and decided to mitigate the challenges in a positive manner. Gratefully, she thanked God for the disease. Although she lost some of her body organs, she felt the care from so many people. She thinks that when God shuts one door to her, He opens another for her. She took it as a lesson, and a present from God.
She told herself that this is a mental battle. She let the doctor take care of her body, let God take care of her mind, and took care of her own mood. Now she lives every day happily as if it were her last. She cherishes every second and lives the moment.
Now Nadia often meets with people who also suffer from cancer. She shares her experience with cancer with them and encourages them to be optimistic. Also, she helps their families to be strong and turn their sadness into kindness. She encourages them to fight against cancer with more friends and families. Her motto reads ever true here, “Success is not about how many people you have won but helped.”
To her, everything now is very precious. When she can take the lead, she will to make the best out of everything. As she was faced with a series of electric field treatments, she told her families optimistically that if she is fine one year after, she will celebrate her birthday with them. Five years is a key time period in cancer. If she survives the five years, she’ll appreciate everything. If not, she hopes that everyone around her can remember how brave and optimistic she is. She thinks there’s no need to pain others when she pains.
 
The Depth of Her Life
Nadia thinks in life, there’s no round trip ticket you can buy; it’s a one-way. For her, things lost cannot be regained. There’s no rehearsal. Every time on stage is a live, self-directed and acted performance.
She has been through the first half of her life. Now, she has scripted her latter half. Her to-do list: finish her dissertation as she’s receiving medical treatments to obtain her long due PhD degree. Also, she’d like to hand her business over comprehensively to people she trust.
What she’d love to do most now is to be a lifelong volunteer for cancer-related matters. It’s her mission to devote wholeheartedly to charity, become a lecturer to pass on love and care, and promote the idea of health and cherishing life.
Her passionate career did not just end despite of cancer. Nadia hopes that her story can serve as a reminder for people to take care of their body. She speaks to the public very often to tell people to treat their body better and that even if they have cancer one day, don’t be afraid. Like what the Buddhist scholar Sheng-Yen once said, “When faced with any difficulty of life, resolve it by following these four steps: face it, accept it, deal with it, and then let it go.”
Live the moment. Nadia used to say she would like to do many things after retirement. Now she does them as soon as possible. She usually has a camera at hand to capture all the impressive moments in life.
She hopes to leave herself a life journal that to record her journey facing the great challenges in life, for her children to see in the future. She wants them to remember her optimism and also remember to contribute to the society whenever possible. She wants them to be grateful while making themselves capable to help others. She wants them to always remember that to give is more blessed than to receive.
Nadia thinks that we can define happiness ourselves. We always regret when we lose what we have. It’s a good thing to be thankful and take on many challenges, because they make you stronger and thrive. After she fell ill, she came to realize the importance of inner fulfillment. Now she says to people all the time, “I can’t change what God gives me, but I can decide the way I use what I have.”
 
Change Life and Create Miracles
Everyone should be the lead of their life story. Many people, however, are fine with being sidekicks all their life. Nadia’s life has turned from colorful to black and white when she fell ill. But as she started to promote charity, she found that black and white could be beautiful as well, just like panda for example. Since she has planned for the rest of her life, she has nothing to worry about now. She lives the moment at ease, and is very grateful for what she has. All the hardships she has overcome have turn into her motivations to thrive.
“Think about those young people died during the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. They haven’t live through half of their life, while I fell ill because of cancer in my fifties and I can still do good things for the society. I’m really content.” Nadia encourages everyone to be nice to themselves and cherish time with family. However busy we are, we should try whatever we can to meet up with friends and families. Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
Her dear brother was diagnosed of cancer later than her, but he already passed away, leaving Nadia the feeling that she really needs to seize her day. She then devoted wholeheartedly to charity and aspired to be a volunteer for cancer-related charity groups for the rest of her life. She published her autobiography Cherish the Love, and publically donated NTD100,000 to a cancer foundation at the launching event, hoping to call for action. Also, she declared that she’d speak at over 1000 public events. As of now, she has done 350, and is still on her journey.
Having been to the US, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia to share her message of life, healthcare, and love, she is spreading the word to so many people in the world. In one Indonesian event, there were over 10,000 people in the audience; it’s estimated that she has influenced more than 100,000 people worldwide.
Nadia thinks it’s her God-given mission to use the rest of her life to speak for and help people around the world, and live every day as her last. She’s planting seeds of hope in her audience, and hopes to see those seeds grow to be a grand forest when she passes. Her only hope is that more and more people can realize the importance of health, live the moment, and enjoy what they already have.

Love means to see your responsibility when you see others. Nadia spends the rest of her time to speak to create precious value and hopes to bring miracles to people’s life.