Grace and the Practice of Compassion

Grace Lee Hong

Ike Hong and his late wife, Grace Lee Hong, were key supporters of NorthShore’s partnership with Be Well-Lake County, an initiative that provides greater access to diabetes care for uninsured patients. “Grace had tremendous compassion for less fortunate families,” Ike said. Incredibly, while volunteering and giving so much to others, Grace was being treated for liver cancer, to which she ultimately succumbed in 2015 following many good years in remission.  

For her final weeks, Grace was admitted to NorthShore Highland Park Hospital. “During those weeks, she was wrapped in the tenderest attention from her nurses and every other NorthShore professional who cared for her,” recalled Ike.

As her health continued to decline, her physician, Claus Fimmel, MD, came to sit on the edge of her bed for a meaningful conversation. “He provided no false hope yet conversed with her in an uplifting manner that did not break her spirit,” said Ike, who was grateful for that profound moment with their children in the room.

Grace entered NorthShore hospice care at home shortly afterward. Ike said the transition was seamless, with Grace receiving the same compassionate attention she had received in the hospital. He, their children and Grace’s family spent their time with her while the hospice nurses and caregivers provided everything for her comfort and physical needs.

Hospice counselors continued to cradle the family with messages of condolence and bereavement support in the months following Grace’s passing. “On her birthday and the date of her death, I receive a thoughtful message from a NorthShore hospice counselor offering their best wishes and support,” he added. “It is so meaningful to me and our children.”

Hong Family’s Legacy Gift Honors Grace

Ike Hong designated the Hong family’s legacy gift to help NorthShore provide patient care for those who are medically underserved and their families. Grace Hong’s compassion is reflected in the capacity of NorthShore to be there for those less fortunate in the community. “As a former NorthShore board member and longtime donor, I’ve personally seen the impact these donations have on our community,” Ike said. “When our neighbors receive the medical care they need, regardless of their economic circumstances, their lives are transformed.”

To learn more about including NorthShore in your family estate plan, please contact Kathleen Chappell, JD, Director of Planned Giving, NorthShore Foundation at 224.364.7211 or


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