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:
Raise awareness about bone marrow donation.
Convince 100 people to register as a potential bone marrow donor.
Participate in Hair for Hope 2013 as a shavee and help to raise S$10,000.
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!!!
Over the past 11 months of cancer fighting, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the help and support given to me. In the process of graciously receiving from others, I’ve learned the beauty of unconditional giving. With the latest news of my health gradually returning, it dawned on me that perhaps it’s time for me to be on the giving side.
Recently, I saw on Facebook that Hair for Hope 2012 (HFH) is opened for registration. HFH is turning a decade old this year and it has a growing number of supporters over the years. I remembered last July, after my diagnosis, Ewan, LeRoy and my brother supported HFH as a walk-in shavee. Their shaven-head raised curiosities among those they’d met, and with further elaboration, they’d helped spread awareness on children cancer. It goes to show that the initiative is meaningful and it is very successful at raising awareness for its cause. Besides promoting awareness of childhood cancer, the act of shaving bald serves to tell children with cancer and their families that they are not fighting alone, and that its alright to be bald. The monies raised will help to fund the programmes and services that the Foundation provides, for example, counselling, caregivers’ support, therapeutic play, financial assistance, palliative & bereavement support and etc. I believe the event will most likely see volunteers and donors stepping forward to offer regular services and donations, thereby creating a supportive community for the beneficiaries.
According to the statistics on HFH website, the most common age group of newly diagnosed children in 2010 is between age 0 to 5, with leukaemia as the most common type of childhood cancer. I could imagine how the parents would feel upon receiving the “life changing package” that slowly unravels along with their children’s diagnosis. Shock & disbelief, emotional, worries about treatment and prognosis, work disruption, financial stress, caregiving stress and etc which all sums up to two words, life changing. The young patients will never understand why are they different from their peers – bald and always away from school due to regular hospitalizations – and why do they have to tolerate the side effects from the harsh treatments.
As an adult leukaemia patient, I’ve received a similar “package” together with the diagnosis as well. Chemotherapy, in my case, was done inpatient and each hospital stay averages about four weeks. The poor immunity that arises after chemotherapy, may result in infections that can be fatal and thus I had to be isolated in single room. Loss of hair occured in patches, and unlike a clean shave, it’s hardly linked to style or fashion. My hospitalization bills have added up to over S$80,000, and that’s excluding the clinical tests and appointments after discharge. Too many to mention.
However, I’m very grateful for the encouragements and support from my family and friends, the excellent health care standard and services provided by the SGH Haematology team, the counsellings and financial assistance provided by the social workers, the understanding and support from my company and colleagues, and the list continues. With their help, I was able to focus on treatment & recovery and change this “package” to greater hopes and a better quality of life. I believe that’s what the Children’s Cancer Foundation is capable of doing in helping the children with cancer and their families.
I’ve been hanging on the thought of becoming a shavee for HFH 2012. As a registered shavee, I can raise funds forChildren’s Cancer Foundation by getting people to pledge their donations in support of my cause. For the past one week, I couldn’t decide on the amount I want to (or can) raise. I was afraid of not meeting my target and I didn’t want my family and friends to feel obliged to give. But today, I found a compelling reason to make a decision and register for HFH 2012. April 17, coincidentally, is my late father’s birthday. We’ve lost him to lung cancer last December. He was a strong fighter and he’d taught us that regardless of the results, always give our best and never give up. With this in mind, and on this special day, I decided to challenge myself to raise S$10,000.00 for CCF by spreading cancer awareness to my contacts and, hopefully, more. Papa, this is for you!
For the kindess I’ve received, I’d like to take this chance to pay it forward. Please support Children’s Cancer Foundation and my cause by making a donation here. Alternatively, you can join me for a shave and help raise funds for CCF by registering today. Lastly, please help to spread this message on children cancer to people you know and inspire them to get involved.
Hair for Hope 2012 will be held on 28 – 29 July 2012 at VivoCity Central Court