Grandpa of four: model of confident optimism

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This year marks the thirteenth year since his first diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer.
Sng Tiang Kee is a model of confident optimism even when afflicted with cancer. He is a proud grandfather of four, coaches badminton, picked up playing the ukulele in recent years, and is even a 2017 Run for Hope Ambassador.

More recently, he’s one of the faces of National Cancer Centre Singapore‘s ‘Make More Survivors‘ campaign, to help combat the cancer tsunami we know is coming.

When asked what made him decide to fight cancer, and be a survivor, Mr Sng said, “As soon as I knew I had cancer, I had decided to fight back. I had surgery immediately and did not want to delay it by discussing with my family“.

An active person all his life, he played badminton throughout all his treatments. Even if he had chemotherapy in the morning, he continued to play badminton that afternoon!

Father of 5 draws strength from his wife

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Kelvin Choo with his wife and 5 boys, aged 2 to 10. They were also ambassadors of Run For Hope 2016.

Kelvin Choo – father of five boys aged 2 to 10 – is a cancer survivor who draws his strengths from his family, especially his dedicated wife.

Read on to learn more about his story as our Run For Hope 2017 ambassador.

  1. When were you diagnosed and at what age?

I was diagnosed in 2012 with stage 3 colon cancer. I was aged 47 then.

  1. How did you find the strength to go through the treatments?

Seeing my wife tending to the family, her work and looking after me during my recuperation gave me the strength that I should not give up on my treatment, but to look forward to each day. I felt that I should not let her shoulder the burden herself.

  1. What did friends or family members do or say that meant the most to you?

Friends and family members were very supportive on my road to recovery by reassuring me that medical sciences are very advanced in treating this illness. They also helped me by taking on my work when I went for treatment.

  1. Can you share anything about donating to the Run For Hope cause?

I am running this Run For Hope 2017 for my father who lost the battle in 2016, and for all those who are still receiving treatment. My message to them is that they should not give up – press on!


Kelvin and his family will be participating in Run For Hope 2017. Join him and thousands of other survivors to raise awareness and support for cancer research at http://tinyurl.com/zn6kqyd.

Mother of 3: Her Battle with Thyroid Cancer

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Sylvia and her family are banning together in the battle against cancer.

Receiving news of her diagnosis just one week after her youngest son’s birthday was a blow to Sylvia Ong’s life. The writer and 35-year-old mother of 3 told us what motivated her in her battle, and how she overcame it.

  1. When were you diagnosed and at what age?

I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid carcinoma in October 2014 – just a week after I celebrated my youngest and third child’s first birthday. I was 33 at the time.

  1. What was your first reaction when you were told that you had cancer?

I couldn’t believe my ears. I kept thinking the doctor was going to tell me that he made a mistake somewhere. Because how was that possible? Me – cancer? There was no pain, no symptoms, nothing, and furthermore, I was still breastfeeding my child at the time.

  1. How did you find the strength to go through the treatments?

It was definitely my mum and my three kids, I wanted to be well for them again. Also, my doctor was very encouraging, as he kept telling me that thyroid cancer is the best cancer to have. There was a high chance of making a full recovery, and there was no need for chemotherapy since it doesn’t react to it, and it was just a surgery to worry about.

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Sylvia will be participating in Run For Hope 2017. Join her and thousands of other survivors to raise awareness and support for cancer research at http://tinyurl.com/zn6kqyd.

Struck by a rare cancer in my 30s

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Judy Anthony, Late 30s
Senior Enrolled Nurse
Singapore National Eye Centre

A loving mom, a dedicated nurse, a fighter.

  1. When were you diagnosed and at what age?

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Fallopian tube cancer in 2014. I consulted my gynecologist about a painful sensation in my left abdomen which pain killers could not relieve.

  1. What was your first reaction when you were told that you had cancer?

It was a big shock to me as my family has no history with cancer or other illnesses. My cancer was rare in Singapore and I required surgery and chemo therapy. At first I didn’t want to go for any treatment as I feared the side effects of chemo.

  1. How did you find the strength to go through the treatments?

I was lucky to enjoy the support of my family and close friends who gave me the assurance to commence the treatment. They were very supportive – always calling and messaging me just to ask if I was ok. During ‘good weeks’ when I was feeling well, I would meet up with my friends for a meal and catch up with them. This made me feel like life was still normal.

  1.    What did friends or family members do or say that meant the most to you?

Cancer was easier to deal with compared to being bald and feeling ugly. That was so tough to deal with. My family and friends would always tell me I still looked the same. They bought me scarfs and presents to brighten my day. When I was almost at the end of my chemo I experienced memory loss and it was scary not to even know my address or NRIC number. As such, my 16 year-old daughter would make sure I was never alone as even counting money was difficult. My friends would also offer to fetch and send me back to ensure my safety.

When I came back to work, my hair was so short but my bosses and colleagues were so kind and told me it was cool. In addition, as a nurse, it was almost impossible to avoid being exposed to infectious cases. But they would look out for me by volunteering to take over.

  1. What are the things you are able to do now as a result for winning the battle against cancer?

Looking back at my journey I am truly blessed to have good support from family, friends and the cancer group. It’s been two years since I was diagnosed and each day is a blessing to me. I want to live my life to the fullest and be a role model to those who have cancer.

  1. Can you share anything about donating to the Run For Hope cause?

I took part in my first Run For Hope last year and promised I would run every year. I was further encouraged to be a better nurse and help those in need. I make an extra effort to eat healthy and have a good balance between work and play.

Even though I am a nurse, the battle was tough. The fear of pain and death was constantly on my mind, and no one should suffer alone. To combat loneliness, I attended parties and feel good make up sessions. All these would not have been possible without the kind donations. I truly believe that every dollar donated would make someone feel better.

Thank you for this opportunity. I hope to raise awareness and help others.

Judy will be participating in Run For Hope 2017. Join her and thousands of other survivors to raise awareness and support for cancer research at http://tinyurl.com/zn6kqyd.

13 with skin cancer

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Photo credit: Photographer Dave Poh

23-year-old skin cancer survivor Mr Goh Chang Teck, had brushes with the disease since a young age of 13. We ask him how he felt upon hearing the diagnosis, and the things he is able to enjoy today as a result of winning the battle against cancer.

  1. When were you diagnosed and at what age?

As a Primary 5 student in 2005, strange sores and eruptions appeared all over my body, but I thought they were normal. It wasn’t until 2 years later at the age of 13 that I was diagnosed with Mycosis Fungoides and Pityriasis Lichenoides – both are forms of skin cancers that affects the lymph nodes. Over time, the sores and developed into fungus-like clusters of dried, reddish and scaly skin. These appeared mostly on my legs, coupled with white spots that appeared on my upper body.

Nevertheless, life carried on and I was thankful to be able to do everything normally, like everyone my age. But in 2013, two months prior to enlisting in the army, I was re-diagnosed with the above mentioned conditions. This time, however, I had progressed from Stage 1 to Stage 2A.

  1. What was your first reaction when you were told that you had cancer?

When the doctors finally broke the news that I was indeed suffering from cancer, my first reaction was: “Why me of all people?” I was lost, disgusted, disappointed, and guilty.

Lost because everything I planned before graduating from polytechnic had all gone down the drain. Disgusted because I couldn’t take it in my stride my body looked and felt this way. Disappointed because I wouldn’t be able to serve National Service, and be judged by people around me for not having done so. And finally, guilty, because I had to be another burden to my parents when I could have signed on upon enlisting in the army.

But all was not lost, because I had hope. I found strength in my family and close friends, who constantly gave words of encouragement and physical and emotional support during moments when I felt the treatments weren’t working out well. You get a heightened sense of gratefulness when you realise the extent that some people would go to just to see you happy and strong!

  1. What are the things you are able to do now as a result for winning the battle against cancer?

I wouldn’t say that I have won the battle against cancer because I am simply fighting a battle in which I am stronger. I’m taking every opportunity to make sure that I have a constant advantage over my worst enemy, such as my friends and family. On that note, I’m still doing the things that I love to do, such as running. But more importantly, I am able to spend time with my loved ones!

  1. Can you share anything about donating to the Run For Hope cause?

I think about donations the same way you think about sharing good things like delicious snacks and lobangs! I believe that if you are able to spend two hours walking around shopping malls to shop for the latest deals, you can similarly challenge yourself with a new fitness goal by starting out with a 10km run-walk at Run For Hope 2017 while contributing to cancer research!

Chang Teck will be participating in Run For Hope 2017. Join him and thousands of other survivors to raise awareness and support for cancer research at http://tinyurl.com/zn6kqyd.

Cancer was the best thing that happened to me

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Ms Kate Wong, a 75-year-old breast cancer survivor and a dragon boater of the Pink Spartans dragon boat team cancer support group, shares about her brush with cancer and how she transformed the ordeal into opportunity.

  1. When were you diagnosed and at what age?

I was diagnosed on 14 Jan 2002. I was 61 then.

  1. What was your first reaction when you were told that you had cancer?

I was a kindergarten school principal when I got the news. Naturally, I was a bit shock as I was so busy in my education career and wasn’t aware of cancer and its symptoms.

Fortunately, I was diagnosed at the first stage. It was by chance during a mammogram when a surgeon discovered that I had lumps in my breasts.

A one-hour biopsy examination revealed that I had aggressive breast cancer. Though the cancer was in its first stage, I decided to undergo a mastectomy surgery, which is the surgical removal of the entire breast. I thought it was better to lose my breast than to lose my life.

After the surgery, I went through four cycles of chemo, and then five years of hormonal therapy.

  1. What are the things you are able to do now as a result for winning the battle against cancer?

I think cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me.

It helped me decide to quit my stressful job to stop and smell for the roses. It gave me the opportunity to meet other cancer survivors and take up fulfilling activities such dragon boating with the Pink Spartans, an activity I am still active in.

There is life after breast cancer. Personally, I enjoyed the camaraderie of meeting and befriending other cancer survivors. It also motivated me to exercise via gymming and swimming. Today, I am still physically healthy and swim twice a week.

All these happened only after my cancer.

I am very thankful to the staff of National Cancer Centre Singapore. The doctors, nurses and support group helped me a lot.

Join her and thousands of other survivors to raise awareness and support for the cancer research at http://tinyurl.com/zn6kqyd.

Buddy Contest Winner!

To all the Buddy Contest participants, thank you for your submissions. We heard you!

We received several touching stories. After much deliberation, the winner of the Run For Hope Buddy Contest is Mr Lawrence Chew!

Here’s his story:

It was September 2012. Dark gloomy clouds were seen hovering over a quiet day in Punggol. It was our usual evening at home after work. Seated in front of the television after dinner, my wife’s mobile phone rang. “Hello, is that Vivien speaking?” My wife gave an affirmative reply and after a long pause over the phone, the mood in the house took a drastic change. It was a call from the clinic at the hospital.

Vivien was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It was akin to a bombshell being dropped onto us as the word cancer confronted us like judgement, a death sentence. I couldn’t bear the thought of losing my beloved of 24 years so soon. What is going to happen to our two young kids?

After consulting several doctors, we were assured that the early stage thyroid cancer is curable, due to years of research and improved surgical procedures. We sighed a great relief. Vivien recovered and was doing well after her surgery and ensuing treatments.

Just when we thought all was going swimmingly well, Vivien was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in January 2014. Countless thoughts were racing through our minds once again. The same questions and anxieties had befallen upon us – Would this be treatable? Is there any medicine that can arrest the spread? Are there any good surgical procedures available?

Vivien went through lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She’s now on medication and is doing very well. Without cancer research, these wonderful treatments and drugs wouldn’t be available to us today. 50 years ago, cancer is almost as good as a death sentence, and the quality of life will be adversely affected too. Although there are still many types of cancer that doctors can’t do much about, cancer research had already come this far today such that some cancers are curable and preventable.

I’m Lawrence Chew and I’m running for the first time for ‘Run For Hope’, together with my buddy, Teh Siew Yee. He journeyed with me through this entire ordeal – the initial shock and disbelief, the eruptive anger towards life’s injustice and the silent tears, the despair and unspoken fears of what ifs, the anxieties and unending questions during medical appointments, the struggle through each stage of treatment, the supportive prayers and encouragements, the anticipation of recovery, the joy and relief of the final outcome and the great hope of cherishing brighter days ahead. I came to know about ‘Run For Hope” through my wife, and she’s precisely the reason why I decided to run and do my bit for cancer research.

Cancer research has given us hope and today we need not equate cancer to the end of the road anymore. Cancer is no longer synonymous to cul-de-sac. I strongly believe that through cancer research, many people and the quality of life of those affected by cancer can greatly improve. It may not happen in our lifetime, but the medical advancement thus far points towards a hope that cure for cancer can eventually be made available. Through good research and funding, we have a hope that this will definitely happen in our children’s lifetime and their future generations.

Because of hope, life is worth celebrating. Vivien has never experienced snow in her lifetime. My aspiration is to save up through my daily income as a cab driver to bring her to a place where there is snow. I came across this contest via ‘Run for Hope’ Facebook page and hopefully I can realise my dream for her sooner.

 

Lawrence wins a pair of ANA flight tickets to Japan and a 2 Nights’ stay for 2, including breakfast at Four Seasons Marunouchi, Tokyo.

Congratulations Lawrence! 

 

Flight tickets with compliments from ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS.

 

I Run For Hope, Health & Happiness

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Cancer is our faceless enemy. It strikes anybody – a daughter, a mother, a father, a friend, a wife or a husband.

Petrina Kow lost her mother, Jenny Kow, to lung cancer 9 years ago and today she is Run For Hope 2014’s ambassador. She is one of the many daughters in Singapore who had or has a mum battling against cancer.

A mother of 2, Petrina shares our passion in searching for a cure for cancer. With advancement in cancer research comes hope. You too can join us in our support for cancer research!

 

I run for those who can’t

LNP-42Having experienced cancer in a personal way, the impact of the disease is one that is close to the heart of local celebrity, Keagan Kang.

The Singapore-based Australian actor said, “My family has a history of Leukemia that stems from my uncle and grandfather. They died from Leukemia, which is cancer of the blood. This is why it is extremely important to create awareness to help prevention.”

Taking the lead in the fight against cancer, Keagan Kang joins in the run as one of Run For Hope 2014’s Ambassadors.

You can too raise awareness and funds for cancer research joining the ambassadors for a cool, morning run at the The Promontory@Marina Bay this Nov 16 when you sign up for Run For Hope 2014.

Registrations are open till Oct 26.

 

Life challenges hold us strongly together

LNP-9Undaunted by life’s challenges, husband and wife – Simon & Rachel, braved through storms together, holding each other’s hand and running in strides.

In 2012, Rachel was diagnosed with cancer. Even as she was still undergoing treatment sessions, Rachel did not allow cancer to get in her way. Shortly after she finished one of her chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments last year, she joined Run For Hope 2013 together with Simon.

Following the event, Simon & Rachel also won the “Most Creative Bib” contest and with the Four Seasons Sydney prize, the active couple even participated in the Gold Coast Marathon in July.

This year, they join the run as Run For Hope 2014 Ambassadors.

They shared on their blog: “We would like to appeal to those who are able – to run for a good cause. And if you have friends and loved ones who are suffering from cancer, your support for this event will be just as meaningful to the patients and their families as it is to us. You are bringing hope!”

Join Simon & Rachel plus other Run For Hope 2014 ambassadors for a scenic run at The Promontory@Marina Bay this coming November!

 

 

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