Tag Archives: giving

2013 – To Be a Better Man

Welcome, 2013! Ever since my diagnosis in 2011, every single day is like a precious drop of water in the desert, and it is even so after the subsequent relapses.

2012 kicked off with a shocking relapse, but I am glad that after all those treatments, I’m in remission again at the end of the year. One of the best lessons I had learned in 2012, is to appreciate what I have before time makes me appreciate what I had.

The entire year of treatments made me appreciate my family and girlfriend who are always there for me when I needed them the most. Not to forget all my friends and the dedicated nursing team who cared for me and my family as well.

My humbling experience told me that I must reciprocate my gratitude when I get well, or at least whenever I am feeling well. The best way to do this, after much thought, is to pay it forward by amplifying my supporters’ loving kindness and reach out to the community.

With that, my resolution for 2013 was set – To be a better man and care for my community.
To be specific, in 2013, I aim to:

  1. Raise awareness about bone marrow donation.
  2. Convince 100 people to register as a potential bone marrow donor.
  3. Participate in Hair for Hope 2013 as a shavee and help to raise S$10,000.
  4. Develop a socially responsible business.

What would your new year resolution be like?
If you have not thought of any, do consider joining me in what I will be doing.
Leave a message to let me know you are interested and I will contact you shortly.

Wishing all my family and friends a fulfilling 2013. May you be well and healthy, and blessed with good fortunes and true happiness. Cheers!!!

10 More Days to Support HFH’12

Next weekend, Singapore will see more botaks in Hair for Hope 2012 at VivoCity! After my registration for this Charity event in April, I got excited with sending out messages to friends on Facebook, asking for their support and donations. I must give thanks to Eugene Chen, LeRoy Chan (a.k.a. The Hungry Cow), Dr Koh T.Y., Catherine Ling, and many more who have helped to spread the message to their contacts.

We managed to raise awareness about children cancer and gathered $5,468 (as of 19 July 2012) from over 50 people, for Children Cancer Foundation. I agree with Mr Paul Max’s comment, everyone has their own battle to fight in life. I think it makes us a better person to be able to take a break from our own battle, and help others fight their life battles.

I won’t be able to shave my hair at HFH ’12 as I’m still confined in SGH. My blood counts (today – Hb: 7.9, WBC: 0.05, Plt: 27k) are still on the down trend, requiring transfusions and GCSF – WBC booster shot – every now and then. But it’s okay, I’ll continue to use this 10 days to reach out to more.

Join me in this ‘fight’ will you? Donate, leave a message, forward this link!

Warmest and best wishes to you! :)

Happy Birthday, Fighter!

I just turned 28!

Last year I was attending a Workplace Safety Workshop on my birthday. The very next day, I was down with high fever because of the abscess that was swelling like the size of a Ricola candy (pardon me if you are sucking on one now) on my left axilla. What happened next was one full year of disaster that changed my life.

27 might have been a struggle, but I made it to 28!!! I’m a fighter, a good one I conclude! Hahaha

Traditionally, in my family, birthdays are celebrated with symbolic hard boiled eggs.  But this year, I was treated to a simple, nice and warm pot of mee sua with kang kong, slices of pork collar and hard boiled egg for lunch. It wasn’t intentional, but my mum just decided to cook mee sua for lunch. In anycase, it’s very much appreciated!

Spent the morning putting up the Hair for Hope 2012 donation link on Facebook, hoping that I can reach out to more friends, spreading awareness of children cancer and help to raise funds for Children’s Cancer Foundation. My simple birthday wish is to raise funds for CCF and I think so far, I’ve done quite a good job with the support of my circle. :) Celebrated my birthday with CCF by making a gift of $280. Think from this year onwards, it will become a tradition of mine to give on my birthday!

The afternoon with Qipee was simple, just the way I wanted it to be and what I would call quality time. From Tampines, we took bus 29 to Netheravon Road to check out The Coastal Settlement and have our dinner.

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with this place. I like the vintage decorations and settling on the sofa made me felt like home. Tables were adequately spaced apart giving personal space to diners. As we were there early, I felt I had the whole place to ourselves.

Food were served pretty fast and the portion looks good for sharing between 3-4 friends.

Lemon-bush tea

Who can resist these truffle fries?

Truffle Mushroom Fetuccine

Happy girlfriend with happy food and happy birthday boyfriend (behind the camera)

Will definitely be back again!

29 Gift Day 02: Dish Washing for Play Time

Today our cute little niece came over to our house to play with us (or play us?). At the age of about two, Ke Ning already aced in thermodynamic’s entropy. Every time she comes over, it’s almost a ritual to pour out her toys, lay out all the things in the house that her tiny hands can reach. The adults would be chasing after her to put things away to prevent trip and fall, or to make sure that she doesn’t climb too high and fall. And surprisingly, I always got exhausted even before she feels sleepy and come asking for her tutu (pacifier). As much as we complain about her some times and call her a naughty girl, we still love her very much.

Brother is out at work and when he returns, it’ll almost be time for niece to go home. Taking that into consideration, mum called sister and suggested a later pick up time for Ke Ning so that brother can have more time to play with her. My brother usually helps with washing the dishes after dinner these days. But today, I decided my gift would be to take over the washing so that he could have more time to play with niece. They both had a great time together, we could tell from Ke Ning’s laughter.

Mum’s dinner was late because she had to feed niece first. I could tell she’s really tired after a whole day of work and taking care of Ning. Again, I took over the mess in the sink so that mum could rest and watch them play. It didn’t feel like a chore to do things for your loved ones if you do it willingly.

Gratitude
I’m thankful that Ke Ning didn’t fall sick, as we thought she might a few days ago.
I truly appreciate my friends for their care and concern when they found out about my condition.
I’m very grateful for the donations and encouragements received from my RSPHI friends.

 

 

29 Gift Day 01: Mop Mop

I haven’t been contributing to home allowance for the past four months even though I’m still receiving half pay from my company. Mum insisted that I keep those money for future medical appointments and treatments.

It’s Labour Day but mum doesn’t really get to enjoy such holidays. She’s still the home maker she is, making sure the house is clean and proper and meals are served. I’m seldom activated to help nor do I have much initiatives these days… bumming around has simply made me very lazy. I must admit that a lot of times I took what she’s done for this family for granted.

Today, I offered to mop the floor as a gift to my mum. It’s not the first time I help, but usually when I do, there’s some form of obligations so that I won’t be labelled as “freeloader”. Felt really good to receive a simple word of thanks for the job well done. Guess she was quite tired and my help came timely. :)

Gratitude
I’m very grateful that my company is willing to keep my position, and continues to pay me even when I’m on such a long medical leave.
I’m blessed to have an understanding and caring mother who took part in my recovery journey, ensuring I have a clean environment and delicious meal!
I’m thankful that my immunity, despite suppressed, has remained strong and kept me out of infection for the past one month. Plus, I haven’t need any blood or platelets transfusion so far.

29 Gifts by Cami Walker

I’m a sucker for self-help books and I found 29 Gifts very inspirational and close to my heart. Found this book by chance two weeks ago, and it got me curious about how Cami coped with her illness, overcome the odds and initiated a goodwill movement over the Internet.

Cami was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) shortly after one month of her marriage. MS is an incurable autoimmune disease in which patients’ immune system attacks myelin, a protective layer for nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, and causes disruption to the message transmitted along the nerve. MS upsets Cami’s life badly and she became very negative about it, constantly asking the question, “Why me?”. That’s a very common thought of newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families too!

One day, Cami met an African medicine woman Mbali who prescribed “Giving 29 gifts in 29 days” to her. Because “By giving, you are focusing on what you have to offer others, inviting more abundance into your life.”, Mbali told her. In the month-long project, Cami realized that her focus on giving had unknowingly helped her to “let go” of some sufferings and problems. Along also came many helps and pleasant surprises which she learned to accept graciously with gratitude. Cami’s life had changed for the better and eventually she had founded 29Gifts.org hoping to recruit more givers in this world.

In my family, we were always taught not to trouble others and to politely reject gifts in kind. If we were to receive any gifts, it’s only right that we return a gift of similar value. A bit of traditional Chinese culture, like the exchange of mandarin oranges during Chinese New Year. Perhaps it’s because we don’t expect to receive so it wasn’t a habit to give either. Last year when I was having my first cycle of chemotherapy treatment, LeRoy’s mother insisted on bringing healthy home-cooked vegetarian dinner to me daily. After politely dissuading her a few times, Aunty Susan told me, “I don’t have to give, but I want to.”. It wasn’t the tasty meals but her time and and sincerity that touched me deeply, as I later later found out that her late father was hospitalized at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. She could have spent the time with her father, but she made time for me just to make sure I have good nutrition to fight leukaemia. My mum, then, was unable to visit me as often as she would love to because she had to take care of my late father who was getting less mobile. Hence, we were very grateful for Aunty Susan and her family for their unconditional generosity and kindness.

Cami’s memoir reminded me of the goodwills I’ve received. It has also inspired me to start giving unconditionally and consciously, and thus, the very first project to raise funds for Hair for Hope 2012! (Please support me!!!) Since May is my birthday month, I decided to embark on this journey of 29 days of giving. I will try to update my daily givings here.

I would recommend 29 Gifts to anyone caught in a tough situation and needed a little inspiration. Let us all be reminded that there are miracles, good, humanity and abundance in this world. Experience a change of perspective in your life and pass on this goodness to others! Thank you Cami for sharing!

P.S. If you enjoy giving, you may like Katie Sokoler’s (owner of blog Color Me Katie Love Note project and the recent Easter Egg Hunt project – leaving pleasant surprises around for people to find. That’s how fun giving can be!