TREND Community is excited to spotlight Gary Ho as Senior Community Director on our team. Like many on the team, Gary began collaborating with TREND on a project related to a chronic or rare disease. As the co-founder of the Gout Support Group of America (GSGA), Gary brings leadership and lessons from that role along with his extensive work history in banking to the TREND Team:
“I am the co-founder of the Gout Support Group of America. My journey with gout started back in 1994 when I had my first flare, and it took me until 2010 to finally get a proper diagnosis. That’s why I co-founded this support group—to help empower gout patients to advocate for themselves. In early 2022, I was introduced to TREND, and together with GSGA, we created a poster highlighting the connection between gout management and mental health. I’m really inspired by TREND’s heartfelt mission to transform antidote conversations into real action that benefits rare and underserved communities.”
As co-founder of GSGA, Gary directly affects thousands through the Facebook Group where he serves as an administrator. His collaborations with TREND provide insights to a condition that affects more than 9.2 million Americans. Gary credits his parents and family with being the foundations of his success:
“My parents mean the world to me. At the age of 5, my family and I were forced to evacuate Saigon and spent months in a refugee camp before beginning our new life in the United States. I can still recall April 30, 1975, when we boarded the barge as Saigon fell to communism. My parents carried my 2 little brothers, and my baby sister as we made our way onto the last barge leaving Vietnam. The opportunity to start anew was a gift that many of our loved ones didn’t have, and I carry immense gratitude for the sacrifices my parents made to make this possible.”
The emphasis on family continues to ring true for Gary. Spending time with his wife and his son are top priorities for his activities outside of work.
“My favorite hobbies include cooking up meals for my wife, perfecting the art of smoking meats, snapping photos of beautifully plated dishes, bending the pole as I try to catch anything bigger than bait fish, exercising with my wife, and cherishing times I am able to hang with my son.”
From a challenging childhood to a family-centric adulthood, Gary laid the groundwork for a future working at TREND. He is optimistic about the future and about increasing understanding about the challenges of those living with chronic and rare disease communities: “I am looking forward to creating memories and making a difference with TREND.”