Po Wai-han's life was short and difficult. Born into a broken home in a Wong Tai Sin squatter slum, she left school in Form Four to work as a salesgirl. Then aged 15, she took a job in a boutique where she fell in love with a colleague. Five years later, she became pregnant and refused to have an abortion. The father left her when their daughter was born, but Po never thought of giving up her Down's Syndrome child and named her Wing-yu, meaning 'singing joy'. In 1998, aged just 23, Po was diagnosed with bladder cancer which spread rapidly to her bones and liver. Doctors told her she had only months to live. Once she knew she was dying, she tried in vain to find adoptive parents for her daughter. Wing-yu's father had gone and Po was not in contact with her family. Although she felt frail, Po insisted on caring for Wing-yu, taking her on a bicycle to school and cooking her meals, until February last year when she became too weak. With no strength to even pick Wing-yu up, she placed her with a foster family, the Chengs. Living alone in public housing in Sha Tin, she could only see her child once a week. Yu-yu missed her mother so much she took to 'talking' to her on her toy telephone. When they were together, each time Po told her to put on her shoes, she cried, afraid it was time to leave. Po's condition deteriorated last month. She became very thin, could not eat and had trouble speaking. 'Most of the time she was semi-conscious and she passed away peacefully, as if she was sleeping,' her boyfriend, Kenneth Soong, said. A Catholic memorial mass will be held for Po today in the 3rd floor church of St John the Baptist School, 29 Yee On Street, Kwun Tong at 6pm (2344 6997). All are welcome.