University mourns death of student Sabrina Ho

Ho died in late August following an extended illness

University mourns death of student Sabrina Ho

Sabrina Ho, center, pictured with some of her new sorority sisters on bid day in spring 2018. 

Sabrina Ho, an American University student and member of the sorority Sigma Delta Tau, died on Aug. 26 in her hometown of New York City after an extended illness, Fanta Aw, AU’s vice president of campus life and inclusive excellence, announced in a memo Wednesday.

Ho, who was known as Brin to her friends at AU, was a “creative young woman who loved to draw and had a passionate commitment to social justice,” Aw wrote in the memo.

“She will be missed by the many people whose lives she touched,” Aw said.

According to a statement from AU’s chapter of Sigma Delta Tau, Ho survived 21 years with a rare heart condition called pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy.

The disease, in most cases, causes the heart muscle to “become enlarged, thick or rigid,” eventually causing the heart to become weaker and less able to pump blood throughout the body, according to the American Heart Association. Cardiomyopathy is extremely rare among children, with about 1,000 to 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Children’s Cardiomyopathy Foundation.

Ho had two heart transplants and spearheaded several campaigns dedicated towards heart centers that specialize in caring for children with rare heart disorders, the sorority wrote on Facebook.

“As a double major in journalism and history, she was passionate about stories both past and present,” Sigma Delta Tau wrote. “She is already so incredibly missed and we extend all of our thoughts to her family.”

AU Student Government also honored Ho in a statement released Wednesday, calling her a “valued member of our AU family.”

“Her vibrant personality and warm smile will be missed by her friends, classmates, and instructors,” AUSG wrote.

There will be a visitation and wake for Ho on Sept. 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Frank Campbell Funeral Home in New York City, with a family-only burial the next day.

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