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June 25, 2017

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Cancer patient holds memorial for self

An American-born patient with terminal cancer, Fred Walter Wolz, held a memorial service for himself in his ward in the Chung Shan Medical University Hospital Saturday, to say goodbye to his friends.

Fred, a 48-year-old English teacher, was diagnosed with bladder cancer caused by metastasis from primary colorectal cancer in July 2005.

His wife Yoyo, a former student, fell in love with him after getting to know more about him when she took him to do qigong therapy. They got married in May this year, despite objections from her family.

Some of Wolz's students also attended the memorial service. They said Wolz is like their friend and family and that he "loves Taiwan as if he is Taiwanese." Cheng Hsiao-shan, one of the students, told Wolz that "Even if God takes away your life, it cannot take away your love."

They presented cards, flowers and even his favorite Taiwanese dish, stinky tofu, to Wolz, although it was prohibited by doctors.

Yoyo said Wolz asked her to prepare a coffin and urn with exclamation marks on it to show that his life was a succession of surprises. He also asked Yoyo to scatter his ashes on Guishan island, off Taiwan's northeast coast, so that they will "float back to his hometown in America on the ocean currents."

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