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‘A mighty force has left us’: CBC journalist and disabilities advocate Ing Wong-Ward dead at 46

“Sharp, fierce and brilliant.”

“Engaging and warm.” 

“Fearless and indefatigable.”

These are just some of the ways in which pals and former colleagues describe long-time CBC Information journalist and advocate for the disabled Ing Wong-Ward, who died within the early morning hours on Saturday. She was 46.

Her husband, Tim Wong-Ward, introduced her passing in a publish on Fb and Twitter.

Wong-Ward died of problems from colon most cancers. She is survived by her husband of 20 years and her daughter Zhenmei. 

“She was an exceptional person; a wonderful wife, mother, colleague and friend to so many, as well as a powerful force in the disabled community,” Tim wrote.

“She was the strongest person I have ever known, right to the very end.”

A graduate of the Ryerson College of Journalism, Wong-Ward joined CBC in 1993 and made important contributions to applications on each radio and tv.

'A mighty force has left us': CBC journalist and disabilities advocate Ing Wong-Ward dead at 46 1
Tim and Ing Wong-Ward at their marriage ceremony on the Toronto Islands. (Submitted by the Wong-Ward household)

In her 23-year profession on the public broadcaster, Wong-Ward labored behind the scenes and as a number on The Incapacity Community; as a researcher and producer for Newsworld; and produced tales for the flagship nightly information program The Nationwide.

She additionally spent 15 years with CBC Radio, a lot of it within the CBC Toronto newsroom, the place she was a producer with Metro MorningRight here & Now and Contemporary Air.

An article about Ing Wong-Ward painted her as ‘unhappy and pathetic.’ It made her need to change how individuals view incapacity. 1:32

Present Metro Morning host Matt Galloway mentioned in a Twitter publish on Saturday that he was “gutted” by Wong-Ward’s loss of life.

“Ing was one of the best people. Whip smart. Unapologetically fierce. Loved great shoes and food and gossip. And changed how we think of ability,” Galloway wrote.

Wong-Ward mentored many younger journalists throughout her time with CBC, and was additionally energetic within the Canadian Media Guild.

“Ing had a sharp intellect and a strong voice. She used both so well — whether pursuing a story she cared about or speaking up to right a wrong,” mentioned Joan Melanson, who was Wong-Ward’s government producer when she labored at CBC Toronto.

“She did not suffer fools. She had a magnificent sense of humour and an awesome sense of style,” Melanson mentioned.

“A mighty force has left us.”

Wong-Ward was born with the neurodegenerative dysfunction spinal muscular atrophy and relied on a motorized wheelchair to get round all through her life. She was an outspoken advocate for Canadians dwelling with disabilities and actively labored to alter what she known as “loaded” conversations in regards to the disabled.

In 2004, she was acknowledged with the Metropolis of Toronto Human Rights Entry Award for her advocacy. 

Regardless of her situation, Wong-Ward was open about her dislike of being known as “inspirational” or “brave.”

“The reality is every single one of us is a mortal human being with human bodies and will have to face something,” she mentioned in a 2018 interview with Metro Morning from her residence in downtown Toronto.

“And so I think when we use labels like brave or inspirational or strong we’re trying to separate ourselves from what is a fulsome conversation around what it actually means to be human.”

'A mighty force has left us': CBC journalist and disabilities advocate Ing Wong-Ward dead at 46 2
Ing Wong-Ward, proven right here at three years outdated, was by no means outlined by her incapacity. (Submitted by the Wong-Ward household)

Wong-Ward left the general public broadcaster in early 2016, taking over the position of affiliate director at The Centre for Impartial Residing in Toronto.

‘Dying is one thing that is going to occur to all of us’

In 2017, she was identified with an inoperable type of colon most cancers. Offered with the choice of a medically assisted loss of life, Wong-Ward determined as a substitute to enter palliative care and infrequently spoke eloquently about her want to make her remaining time as significant as potential.

“I have always believed about being open, about talking about subjects that are ultimately uncomfortable and dying is something that’s going to happen to all of us,” she instructed Metro Morning.

“If I am struggling with this, why shouldn’t we have a larger conversation about it, just for people to be informed? I was a journalist for a long time. I was in the business of informing people and I feel it is so important to inform and share.”

In his Fb publish, her husband, Tim, mentioned that she wished to be cremated with out a service and visitation. Her household will host a celebration of life later this yr, he mentioned.

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