A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and lawmaker who was found guilty on public nuisance charges related to the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests revealed on social media this afternoon that she has a large brain tumor that requires immediate surgery, just hours after her sentencing over the protests was suspended for medical reasons.
Civic Party member Tanya Chan posted to Facebook photos of her MRI scans, and said that doctors had found a 4.2-centimeter tumor, slightly larger than a ping-pong ball, on the left side of her brain.
“Any operation has its risks. I am afraid, but I will definitely recover as soon as possible,” she wrote in her post. “God has given me two major challenges at once, and I will face them bravely, please don’t worry.”
Chan said that the doctors diagnosed the growth as a meningioma, a type of tumor that forms on membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord just inside the skull.
Following a check-up on April 4, doctors confirmed the tumor’s presence on April 17, just over a week after Chan and eight other pro-democracy activists were convicted under controversial colonial-era public nuisance laws for their roles in bringing large parts of the city to a standstill during the 2014 Umbrella Movement.
Chan was due to be sentenced along with her co-defendants today, but the judge agreed to postpone her sentencing until June 10 after her lawyer submitted an MRI scan and a radiologist’s report, saying Chan’s condition was life-threatening and required surgery within two weeks.
The other eight co-defendants, meanwhile, were handed jail sentences ranging from eight to 16 months — some suspended — or community service at today’s hearing.
Chan, who represents the Hong Kong Island constituency, said she will also inform LegCo President Andrew Leung that she’ll be suspending her activities as a lawmaker.
She added that it was unclear whether the tumor was benign or malignant, but that she accepted the doctor’s advice to have an operation straight away.
Chan ended her post today with a message to her mother: “Mom, have faith in your daughter; I can take care of this.”