An accidental acquaintance led to a meaningful friendship.

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57 year old Mr Goh Eng Chuan has been living in a farm near old Chua Chu Kang road for about 2 years. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia end 2012. He underwent bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy. The treatment process lasted a month. 7 months later he went back to work but was unable to cope. His health deteriorated again. He had to go back to the hospital for treatment for another month. This cycle continued for some time.


For someone who has been working from a very young age, he found this very discouraging. Not having a good educational background, he is only able to do manual work. With his health condition he was unable to cope with such jobs. This led to more problems in his life.


Mr Goh is married with 2 children. Due to the financial pressure he had disputes with his spouse. To avoid arguments and further problems he decided to leave home. He also did not want to be a burden for his family.


Mr Tay, staff of Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), became the helping hand for Mr Goh after an accidental meet up. During the small talks, Mr Tay got to know that Mr Goh is a cancer patient struggling to make ends meet. He linked Mr Goh up with colleagues from the SCS Financial Assistance Department. Mr Goh is now under the SCS welfare assistance on cash aid.


“Mr Goh asked me the reason why I switched career. I told him I lost both my parents to cancer and before my mother passed she told me to do good and help others. Thus the mid-career switch. Helping Mr Goh just came naturally as part of this. Rewards come in many ways and my passion in my job at SCS takes me beyond my day-to-day admin work. Going that extra mile to help makes a small but positive impact for all,” explained Mr Tay.


Mr Tay visits Mr Goh often and personally follows up on his case.

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Mr Goh still wants to bear responsibility as a parent and is still contributing some money to his family. The cash aid he is getting from SCS helps him to alleviate his financial burden. “I don’t get to go out and spend money staying in this place. So I can manage my finance with the $500 I am getting from SCS”, said Mr Goh.


He added, “Staying in a farm is like back to kampong days. I think the fresh air has been helping me to get better. It is definitely more peaceful. I am thankful to my friend for letting me put up here. And I am very grateful to Mr Tay and the staff of SCS for helping me through this difficult phase. I hope other cancer patients are aware that such help is available and you are not alone in this battle.”


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