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In times of need, you can rely on others for help, not just family.

 

Francis Koh

Her lecturer once said, "There is a light at the end of a tunnel." Do you want to reach this light? If you do, you have to go through the process in order to reach the light at the tunnel. But it is a tough journey and ultimately, you will reach it."

 

Yan Siew Ghiang was diagnosed with Stage 2 invasive breast cancer in April 2020. She is grateful that she received support both from her loved ones as well as the healthcare community throughout her cancer journey.

Siew Ghiang saw nothing unusual about a lump she found on her body. Little did she know that it would turn out into something that changed her life forever. She recalled being shocked upon her diagnosis, when the lump she found turned out to be Stage 2 invasive breast cancer. After coming to terms with her diagnosis, she sought to find possible treatment options with the help of referrals. Upon financial counselling, she was shocked to learn how much her treatment can cost. Cancer treatment posed a significant financial challenge to her. “The overall bill for treatment came up to over a hundred thousand dollars." she recounted. Despite receiving subsidies from various services, they were insufficient to fully cover the cost of hefty medical bills and the drugs she needed. 

Thanks to her oncologist who recommended her to Singapore Cancer Society (SCS), and she was assisted with SCS Cancer Treatment Fund. She recounted how her SCS case worker assisted and guided her through the intricacies of fund application protocols. Having this aid allowed Siew Ghiang to focus on her recovery with the peace of mind. “It does a lot of wonders to my life, as I don’t need to worry about my payments,” she said.

The 63 year old survivor looks back at her cancer journey and maintains that hope, and strong community support is what carried her through. She explains, “There will always be good days and bad days, but it is important to overcome these incidents and stride to emerge tougher, stronger and more compassionate.”

It is a tough journey, she admits, but she believes that looking beyond with hope made her who she is today. She encourages cancer patients to believe that there will always be light at the end of the tunnel, and like herself, the strong will and the support of family, friends, SCS and healthcare workers will help them in the fight against cancer.

It means that there is hope and look beyond as you will definitely be safe, strong, and healthy at the end of the tunnel where the light begins a new journey.

Francis Koh

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Siew Ghiang wishes to express her gratitude to many hands who showed their support in her cancer journey, namely, of relatives, friends, social worker, nurses, and doctors, and staff at Singapore Cancer Society.

“Thank you very much to Singapore Cancer Society for their financial aid, and emotional support, also to the editorial team for sharing my story.”

She thanks Priscilla Ng and SCS Welfare case-worker staff, Tok Shou Hsien, for their strong moral support.

To her, SCS Navigator Priscilla had always been a friendly and supportive figure who counselled with a listening ear. “She accepts me for who I am. Ms Ng is happy for me with regards to my remission as a cancer survivor. Thank you very much, Ms Priscilla Ng”.

Shou Hsien, SCS Welfare case-worker staff would patiently extend care beyond the financial support. “Sometimes we do not speak on monetary issue, but we speak on issues generally. As and when, Ms Tok would listen to my issue which pertains to my surgery. Thank you so much, Ms Tok Shou Hsien.”

Article contributed by:

Rachael Neo Rui Qin
Volunteer

SCS’ array of financial assistance schemes seeks to alleviate the financial burden of treatment costs for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents from low and middle income families. The Cancer Treatment Fund provides financial assistance to needy cancer patients to subsidise part of their cancer treatment costs. Since its inception in 2005, more than S$18.70 million in aid was disbursed, assisting more than 5,500 patients. 

To find out more about Cancer Treatment Fund and other schemes, visit: bit.ly/assist-scs  

As part of the national Breast Cancer Awareness Month, efforts to bring about greater community awareness and to raise funds for the cancer cause, SCS is spearheading a collaboration with National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. Public who are interested in donating to breast cancer research and other breast cancer causes can visit www.giving.sg/breast-cancer-awareness

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