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Cancer took his voice. After being diagnosed with throat cancer 13 years ago, Mr Tee Poh Huat underwent surgery but lost his ability to speak and grew to rely on writing or using a voice synthesiser to express himself. Communication was frustrating and difficult.

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As a single man, the medical fees depleted his savings. He had to eventually sell off his home to pay the bills and moved into a small rented flat subsidised by the government. At this point, a social worker referred him to the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), which assisted him by providing welfare aid and food rations. This aid enabled him to not only survive and stay afloat but to thrive.

Embracing a positive attitude, he stated, “Cancer is a word. I no longer feel afraid. As long as I’m alive, there is always hope. One just needs to be courageous, be strong to accept treatment, and to maintain a positive mindset.”

During this time, Mr Tee was also directed to the SCS New Voice Club, a cancer support group run by the Society since 1985, which became his source of strength. “People I met through the support services have encouraged me, cared for me, and helped me overcome all obstacles. Without their help, I would not have been able to pull through. With SCS, you will not feel lonely or lost. SCS is like a family to me, my second home. I would like to thank Singapore Cancer Society for going through the tough times with me, especially when I was feeling hopeless and helpless.”

Thanking all donors and volunteers, Mr Tee exclaims, “unity is strength – with all your love and passionate support, cancer patients will not feel lonely and helpless.”

About SCS New Voice Club

The New Voice Club consists of members who have had some form of laryngeal cancer and have undergone surgical treatment or laryngectomy. After having their vocal chords removed, patients lose their voices completely. Rehabilitation aims to help patients learn how to speak again, with or without speech devices. It also reaches out to new patients and renders emotional support to members and their families in coping with a ‘new voice’ after surgery. Speech practice sessions conducted by its members have enabled many to regain their ability to communicate with others. For more info: https://www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg/get-help/cancer-survivor/join-a-support-group/new-voice-club-support-group.html

 

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