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.
Flight tickets with compliments from ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS.