Monday, November 30, 2015

The SG50 Jubilee Big Walk - PM Lee: Let's unite and build towards SG100

My Paper, Monday, November 30, 2015, Page A2, Top Stories
From http://epaper.mypaper.sg/epc/en/2015-11-30/
Source Website: http://mypaper.sg/top-stories/pm-lee-lets-unite-and-build-towards-sg100-20151130
By Walter Sim, waltsim@sph.com.sg, Calvin Yang, calyang@sph.com.sg, My Paper, Monday, 30 November 2015, Published on Nov 30, 2015


SG50 Jubliee Big Walk
PHOTO: SG50 Jubliee Big Walk
SUNDAY STROLL: About 25,000 people took part in the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk yesterday morning. The 5km mass walk went past historic sites in the Civic District, including the Padang and Parliament House, before ending at the Meadow at Gardens by the Bay.
Photo: The New Paper
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yAGRjmlj_8A/Vlw2yGnv7yI/AAAAAAAAiXI/R9qG9LIwx5k/s1600/20153011_JubileeBigWalk.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w848/public/original_images/Nov2015/20153011_JubileeBigWalk.jpg?itok=0ZQn-QFV
http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-lets-unite-and-build-towards-sg100



BY HELPING one another and working as a team, Singaporeans can shape the nation's destiny and forge a future that is inclusive and united in diversity, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of The Future Of Us exhibition at Gardens by the Bay, Mr Lee looked back at how the nation had overcome uncertainty and racial tensions during independence, as he cast an eye on what the future of Singapore will be like 50 years from today.

Singapore as it is now is the "work of more than one generation, each standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before", he said, crediting pioneers for their sacrifice and for building Singapore up brick by brick.



The SG50 Jubilee Big Walk was flagged off by Mr Lee at the National Museum of Singapore, the walk's starting point.

PHOTO: The SG50 Jubilee Big Walk was flagged off by Mr Lee at the National Museum of Singapore, the walk's starting point.
Photo Source: The New Paper, The Straits Times, Berita Harian
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--zKo_1dZn8c/Vlw214jplUI/AAAAAAAAiYY/pYwzieVqADA/s1600/jubileewalk_47.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w641/public/original_images/Nov2015/jubileewalk_47.jpg?itok=rZghyVkK
http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-lets-unite-and-build-towards-sg100



Likewise, Singapore's future "depends on what we make of it together", he added. "It is up to each one of us to voice our hopes and future dreams, to make the choices to realise these dreams."

The free Future Of Us exhibition, which opens to the public tomorrow at Gardens by the Bay, is the capstone event of the year-long SG50 Golden Jubilee celebrations. It has seen overwhelming response with more than 85 per cent of tickets booked for the opening month.

The exhibition, which will end on March 8 next year, envisions how daily living will be like in 2030, with possible innovative developments in areas such as transport, housing and healthcare.



Singapore's future depends on what we make of it together.

PHOTO: Singapore's future depends on what we make of it together. It is up to each one of us to voice our hopes and future dreams, to make the choices to realise these dreams.
Photo Source: The New Paper, The Straits Times, Berita Harian
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Fu88fGOyQoA/Vlw20oOik9I/AAAAAAAAiYI/x4OfGJZHRPI/s1600/jubileewalk_11-1.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w641/public/original_images/Nov2015/jubileewalk_11.jpg?itok=7FzjImOC
http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-lets-unite-and-build-towards-sg100



The SG50 celebrations have "been an extra special year for all of us and I am sure each of us has his or her own special memories", Mr Lee noted.

He said looking forward will involve "coming together as one people, one nation, one Singapore, re-dedicating ourselves to build a better Singapore (and) looking forward to the possibilities ahead of us".

Mr Lee also said that it was fitting to have taken part in the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk earlier yesterday morning, going past historic and iconic sites in the Civic District.



The SG50 Jubilee Big Walk went past historic and iconic sites in the Civic District. Some 25,000 people took part in the 5km mass walk, organised by The New Paper and the People's Association.

PHOTO: The SG50 Jubilee Big Walk went past historic and iconic sites in the Civic District. Some 25,000 people took part in the 5km mass walk, organised by The New Paper and the People's Association.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-2kypM4fXazI/Vlw2zOaLIDI/AAAAAAAAiXc/9-YUZQbpcvk/s1600/CIMG3041-1.JPG
CIMG3041-1.JPG



Some 25,000 people took part in the 5km mass walk, organised by The New Paper and the People's Association.



The SG50 Jubilee Big Walk included part of a permanent 8km commemorative trail, known as the Jubilee Walk, which connects more than 20 historic and iconic locations within the Civic District and Marina Bay precinct.

PHOTO: The SG50 Jubilee Big Walk included part of a permanent 8km commemorative trail, known as the Jubilee Walk, which connects more than 20 historic and iconic locations within the Civic District and Marina Bay precinct.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w17BuWjt90A/Vlw2y4KukGI/AAAAAAAAiXU/bOFLdINVWdE/s1600/CIMG3031-1.JPG
CIMG3031-1.JPG



It included part of a permanent 8km commemorative trail, known as the Jubilee Walk that Mr Lee also launched yesterday, which connects more than 20 historic and iconic locations within the Civic District and Marina Bay precinct.

The event was flagged off by Mr Lee at the National Museum of Singapore, the walk's starting point.



The event was flagged off at the National Museum of Singapore, the walk's starting point.

PHOTO: The event was flagged off at the National Museum of Singapore, the walk's starting point.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uZZqmgyJDOI/Vlw2yDzNUkI/AAAAAAAAiXQ/byyzlgK4-yw/s1600/CIMG2985-1.JPG
CIMG2985-1.JPG



The mass walk's route took participants past key landmarks and sites that mark significant events in the nation's development, including the Padang and Parliament House, before ending at the Meadow at Gardens by the Bay.



The mass walk's route took participants past key landmarks and sites that mark significant events in the nation's development, including the Padang and Parliament House, before ending at the Meadow at Gardens by the Bay.

PHOTO: The mass walk's route took participants past key landmarks and sites that mark significant events in the nation's development, including the Padang and Parliament House, before ending at the Meadow at Gardens by the Bay.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n1bMlVfNxmc/Vlw2yPGQBVI/AAAAAAAAiXM/gqpcl47imsQ/s1600/CIMG3001-1.JPG
CIMG3001-1.JPG



Mr Lee - who took selfies with some participants, shook hands with others and exchanged high fives with young children - also launched the 220m Jubilee Bridge that connects the Merlion Park and the waterfront promenade by the Esplanade.



Mr Lee also launched the 220m Jubilee Bridge that connects the Merlion Park and the waterfront promenade by the Esplanade.

PHOTO: Mr Lee also launched the 220m Jubilee Bridge that connects the Merlion Park and the waterfront promenade by the Esplanade.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DuN1rY1J758/Vlw2zs29psI/AAAAAAAAiXk/IjwgJsC1lmM/s1600/CIMG3085-1.JPG
CIMG3085-1.JPG



He then made a brief visit of the SG Heart Map Festival at the Marina Bay floating platform.



The SG50 celebrations have been an extra special year for all of us and each of us has his or her own special memories.

PHOTO: The SG50 celebrations have been an extra special year for all of us and each of us has his or her own special memories.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-svj4ygkph0E/Vlw2zeKxYbI/AAAAAAAAiXg/CphZjh0zsI4/s1600/CIMG3049-1.JPG
CIMG3049-1.JPG



Looking forward will involve coming together as one people, one nation, one Singapore, re-dedicating ourselves to build a better Singapore (and) looking forward to the possibilities ahead of us.<br>

PHOTO: Looking forward will involve coming together as one people, one nation, one Singapore, re-dedicating ourselves to build a better Singapore (and) looking forward to the possibilities ahead of us.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-B3s7Mg_LoUU/Vlw2zxw34oI/AAAAAAAAiX0/St5GDEQ_sJM/s1600/CIMG3130-1.JPG
CIMG3130-1.JPG



The route passed key landmarks and sites marking significant events in Singapore's development, including the Padang, before ending at The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay.


PHOTO: The route passed key landmarks and sites marking significant events in Singapore's development, including the Padang, before ending at The Meadow at Gardens by the Bay.
Photo Source: The New Paper, The Straits Times, Berita Harian
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SOVaT0vk9uI/Vlw205Hdr-I/AAAAAAAAiYQ/cAYX0QeS4V8/s1600/jubileewalk_12.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w641/public/original_images/Nov2015

/jubileewalk_12.jpg?itok=GSbBtdy3
http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-lets-unite-and-build-towards-sg100



Eager walkers had begun arriving as early as 5.30am for the 7am flag-off.

PHOTO: Eager walkers had begun arriving as early as 5.30am for the 7am flag-off.
Photo Source: The New Paper, The Straits Times, Berita Harian

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w5pajBdCJRo/Vlw20Oq-d0I/AAAAAAAAiX8/D-iwJVhU1Cw/s1600/jubileewalk_10.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w641/public/original_images/Nov2015/jubileewalk_10.jpg?itok=Iv8GmLI5
http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-lets-unite-and-build-towards-sg100



Mr Lee also said that it was fitting to have taken part in the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk earlier yesterday morning, going past historic and iconic sites in the Civic District.

PHOTO: Mr Lee also said that it was fitting to have taken part in the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk earlier yesterday morning, going past historic and iconic sites in the Civic District.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rT-oC3mFqRM/Vlw2z3Jac3I/AAAAAAAAiXw/2w5xD3imjQs/s1600/CIMG3131-1.JPG
CIMG3131-1.JPG



Stilt walkers (People's Association) and buskers were also at the end point to entertain the crowd.

PHOTO: Stilt walkers (People's Association) and buskers were also at the end point to entertain the crowd.
Photo Source: The New Paper, The Straits Times, Berita Harian
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Y1PNhGLGkOY/Vlw21JGGXvI/AAAAAAAAiYM/MWyO2JFUMmU/s1600/jubileewalk_22.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w641/public/original_images/Nov2015/jubileewalk_22.jpg?itok=xC-T8YRl
http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-lets-unite-and-build-towards-sg100



Sights & sounds of the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk

PHOTO: Sights & sounds of the SG50 Jubilee Big Walk
Photo Source: The New Paper, The Straits Times, Berita Harian
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-haHWLUhX2PU/Vlw21q4saaI/AAAAAAAAiYc/nvSVqbKpJYo/s1600/jubileewalk_23.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w641/public/original_images/Nov2015/jubileewalk_23.jpg?itok=pohat2Dp
http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/pm-lee-lets-unite-and-build-towards-sg100


By Walter Sim, waltsim@sph.com.sg, Calvin Yang, calyang@sph.com.sg, My Paper, Monday, 30 November 2015, Published on Nov 30, 2015



Reference

Sunday, November 29, 2015

'We have to carry on living': Man who lost hands and feet to GBS infection

Source Website: http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0
By Tan Tam Mei, tammei@sph.com.sg, The New Paper, Sunday, 29 November 2015


Mr Tan Whee Boon's ordeal began in July when he was taken to hospital after feeling giddy and severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea.
PHOTO: Mr Tan Whee Boon's ordeal began in July when he was taken to hospital after feeling giddy and severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea. This happened a few days after he ate a Chinese raw fish dish, or yusheng, at a Chinatown food centre. Mr Tan was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where tests found three types of bacteria in his body, one of which was Group B Streptococcus (GBS).
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wT5IDG26Uts/Vlrpyds2fKI/AAAAAAAAiWE/Ue-5opBE-AQ/s1600/tanwheeboon_2.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Nov2015/tanwheeboon_2.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



Sitting in his motorised wheelchair, Mr Tan Whee Boon's smile is radiant and his attitude jovial.

It is a stark contrast to the 50-year-old's outlook almost three months ago when he received devastating news - his hands and feet had to be amputated.



Three months ago when he received devastating news - his hands and feet had to be amputated.
PHOTO: Three months ago when he received devastating news - his hands and feet had to be amputated.
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XUZUorekrtI/VlrpxWCpXlI/AAAAAAAAiV4/86zPNoKxrSQ/s1600/gbsinfection1_0.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Aug2015/gbsinfection1_0.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0


Back in August, when he spoke to The New Paper days before two operations to remove his extremities, the former technician said he had "no more future" because he could not imagine a life without them.

A meeting with national para-athlete Aishah Samad helped Mr Tan regain hope despite the thought of losing his hands and feet.

The 2003 SEA Games shooting bronze medallist visited Mr Tan in hospital in August after reading about his condition in a TNP report.



The 2003 SEA Games shooting bronze medallist visited Mr Tan in hospital in August after reading about his condition in a TNP report.
PHOTO: The 2003 SEA Games shooting bronze medallist visited Mr Tan in hospital in August after reading about his condition in a TNP report.
When Mr Tan saw Ms Aisha enter his ward in her wheelchair, he was moved to tears. He said: "When I saw her smiling and talking to me, I knew it was possible to have a future."
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TazQduvId6c/VlrpxVwPy1I/AAAAAAAAiVw/dkGJOoxvrXU/s1600/bacterialinfection_7.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Aug2015/bacterialinfection_7.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



She, too, had lost her hands and feet after a bacterial infection while on a trip to China in 2012.

Meeting Ms Aishah allowed Mr Tan to connect with someone who had gone through a similar experience. It gave him much needed comfort and encouragement to persevere.

"I did think about suicide to be honest, but thinking of my family and friends made me think twice," said Mr Tan in Mandarin.



Ms Aishah, too, had lost her hands and feet after a bacterial infection while on a trip to China in 2012.
PHOTO: Ms Aishah, too, had lost her hands and feet after a bacterial infection while on a trip to China in 2012. Meeting Ms Aishah allowed Mr Tan to connect with someone who had gone through a similar experience. It gave him much needed comfort and encouragement to persevere.
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-e3_3GkOzY3k/VlrpxZt74oI/AAAAAAAAiV0/-N8kM5f7sJA/s1600/bacterialinfection_8.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Aug2015/bacterialinfection_8.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



"There was no other way except to amputate, so even before I met Aishah, I had already told myself that all I could do was move forward."

Mr Tan's ordeal began in July when he was taken to hospital after feeling giddy and severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea.

This happened a few days after he ate a Chinese raw fish dish, or yusheng, at a Chinatown food centre.

Mr Tan was taken to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital where tests found three types of bacteria in his body, one of which was Group B Streptococcus (GBS).

Following a spike in reported GBS infections in July, the Ministry of Health confirmed an association between the consumption of yusheng-style raw fish dishes and a specific strain of GBS infection that appears to be aggressive.

The confirmation came in an official statement released yesterday.

TNP caught up with Mr Tan and his wife, Madam Choong Siet Mei, 47, in their three-room flat in Woodlands yesterday.



TNP caught up with Mr Tan and his wife, Madam Choong Siet Mei, 47, in their three-room flat in Woodlands yesterday (28 November 2015).
PHOTO: TNP caught up with Mr Tan and his wife, Madam Choong Siet Mei, 47, in their three-room flat in Woodlands yesterday (28 November 2015). They were adjusting to life after Mr Tan was discharged from the hospital two weeks ago.
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HQvTbJT053w/Vlrpzhg1yiI/AAAAAAAAiWk/HVFpnT3SVfw/s1600/tanwheeboon_6.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Nov2015/tanwheeboon_6.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



The couple, who have two children aged 14 and 15, sounded upbeat and hopeful while talking about how they were adjusting to life after Mr Tan was discharged from the hospital two weeks ago.

Said Mr Tan, who now moves around on a motorised wheelchair: "We just have to carry on living and do what we can do with life. The world will keep on spinning."

NO LAWSUIT
The family doesn't talk much about the tragedy because they would rather talk about "happier things".

He also said that it would be hard for him to find a job because the reality is that "it is hard to hire someone with no hands and feet".

For the couple, much has changed after the amputation, but they choose to adopt a positive outlook. Mr Tan has left his job as a technician and they get by on their savings and crowdsourced donations.



The family doesn't talk much about the tragedy because they would rather talk about 'happier things'.
PHOTO: The family doesn't talk much about the tragedy because they would rather talk about "happier things".
Said Mr Tan: "We just have to carry on living and do what we can do with life. The world will keep on spinning."
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q37ay_unEO0/VlrpzXgOZjI/AAAAAAAAiWY/r2-dGXzdBpM/s1600/tanwheeboon_4.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Nov2015/tanwheeboon_4.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



Mr Tan estimates that the amount should be enough to last them three to five years. The bulk of it will be kept for their children.

Mr Tan spends most days at home exercising to strengthen his core muscles, something he feels will help him become more independent.

With the aid of modified elastic bands that his wife sewed, Mr Tan is able to feed himself using a fork and spoon, and even send text messages using a stylus-pen.



With the aid of modified elastic bands that his wife sewed, Mr Tan is able to feed himself using a fork and spoon, and even send text messages using a stylus-pen.
PHOTO: With the aid of modified elastic bands that his wife sewed, Mr Tan is able to feed himself using a fork and spoon, and even send text messages using a stylus-pen.
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NN_MevNvI7w/VlrpysM2qXI/AAAAAAAAiWM/C6-hdJwHQWY/s1600/tanwheeboon_3.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Nov2015/tanwheeboon_3.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



Madam Choong, a housewife, is also always by his side as Mr Tan is unable to perform certain daily tasks like bathing and using the toilet.

"She's like my personal assistant," he joked.

She said: "I'm definitely more tired now. Previously, all I had to do was housework but now I have to take care of him too... But I do it because he's my husband."



Madam Choong, a housewife, is also always by his side as Mr Tan is unable to perform certain daily tasks like bathing and using the toilet.
PHOTO: Madam Choong, a housewife, is also always by his side as Mr Tan is unable to perform certain daily tasks like bathing and using the toilet.
She said: "I'm definitely more tired now. Previously, all I had to do was housework but now I have to take care of him too... But I do it because he's my husband."
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xfnfqlsDPZA/VlrpyM9pB4I/AAAAAAAAiWI/p7lrBXP6wWk/s1600/tanwheeboon_1.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Nov2015/tanwheeboon_1.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



When asked if they hold anyone responsible for their plight, Mr Tan said that they do not because "nobody wanted this to happen".

Madam Choong added: "Even if we sue someone, we can't win back his hands and feet. So there's no point."

Despite his disability, Mr Tan hopes his family and friends can continue to treat him as a "normal person" instead of taking "extra care" of him.



Despite his disability, Mr Tan hopes his family and friends can continue to treat him as a 'normal person' instead of taking
PHOTO: Despite his disability, Mr Tan hopes his family and friends can continue to treat him as a "normal person" instead of taking "extra care" of him.
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OpNkFUioVYI/Vlrpx_j99PI/AAAAAAAAiV8/tkDZdfMihDI/s1600/gbsinfection2_0.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Aug2015/gbsinfection2_0.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



"They always offer to pick me up in their cars... But I tell them that I have my own car and it's a Mercedes," Mr Tan said, grinning and gesturing to his wheelchair.

By Tan Tam Mei, tammei@sph.com.sg, The New Paper, Sunday, 29 November 2015


Sitting in his 'Mercedes' motorised wheelchair, Mr Tan Whee Boon's smile is radiant and his attitude jovial.
PHOTO: Sitting in his 'Mercedes' motorised wheelchair, Mr Tan Whee Boon's smile is radiant and his attitude jovial.
Photos: ST, TNP, Shutterstock, Facebook/helptanwheeboon, Lianhe Wanbao
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WvlKDSq0O4g/VlrpzW8g3fI/AAAAAAAAiWo/-sq-S9VR2F8/s1600/tanwheeboon_5.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/original_images/Nov2015/tanwheeboon_5.jpg
http://yourhealth.asiaone.com/content/we-have-carry-living-man-who-lost-hands-and-feet-gbs-infection/page/0/0



SHOWING THE WAY: When Mr Tan saw Ms Aishah enter his ward, he was moved to tears. His hands and feet have to be amputated.
PHOTO: He's regained hope, thanks to para-athlete
My Paper, Tuesday, August 18, 2015, Page A6, Top Stories
http://www.veryfatoldman.blogspot.sg/2015/08/hes-regained-hope-thanks-to-para-athlete.html




Reference

Friday, November 27, 2015

PSLE student who underwent surgery for brain tumours: 'It's not about losing hope'

By Melanie Heng, The New Paper, Thursday, 26 November 2015


Celeste Chang had to prevail over a range of adversities even before she could sit for the PSLE exams.
PHOTO: Celeste Chang had to prevail over a range of adversities even before she could sit for the PSLE exams. Despite struggling with her studies, she still scored two As and two Cs in passing the PSLE. And her family learned to appreciate life and teaching the right things were more important.
Photo: The New Paper
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-y6vIo-Mifhs/VlgkBYg1oLI/AAAAAAAAiVg/v1QcP35JXSg/s1600/20151125_psle_tnp.jpg
http://news.asiaone.com/sites/default/files/styles/w848/public/original_images/Nov2015/20151125_psle_tnp.jpg?itok=y1KnvbK6
http://news.asiaone.com/news/education/psle-student-who-underwent-surgery-brain-tumours-its-not-about-losing-hope



To most 12-year-olds, the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) this year might have been the biggest challenge in their lives.

But Celeste Chang had to prevail over a range of adversities even before she could sit for the exams.

It began with the Nanyang Primary pupil getting headaches in 2010 whenever she took a shower or climbed a flight of stairs.

Celeste described the pain as "unbearable", unusual for someone who says she has a high tolerance for pain.

Her parents took her to a general practitioner who suspected the headaches were not a minor issue.

A Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan showed she had a brain tumour the size of a ping pong ball.

Celeste underwent surgery to remove the tumour at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) on Oct 1 that year and was warded for three weeks.

She then had radiotherapy and chemotherapy for 15 months. The treatments left her physically weak and she suffered several side effects.

She needs lifetime medication after her pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands were affected and is on growth hormone replacement therapy after she stopped growing.

She also has memory lapses and struggles to understand concepts, as well as suffering high-frequency hearing loss and compromised motor skills, which make it difficult for her to write in a straight line.

Celeste told The New Paper yesterday: "I used to think to myself, 'PSLE is coming, I'm going to die'.

"It was difficult preparing for it but I just did my best."

Despite struggling with her studies, she still scored two As and two Cs in passing the PSLE.

HAPPY WITH PSLE RESULT
Celeste and her parents are happy enough with the result, with her father, Mr Astro Chang, 46, saying: "Academic results are not our main concern. As long as she does her best - maybe it's not good enough for the world, but it's good enough for us."

The family is heartened that Celeste never used her condition as an excuse and, in fact, became her parents' pillar of support through the difficult times.

"It's like nothing can get her down," said Mr Chang, who quit his high-flying job as the South-east Asia director of sales for a multinational company in 2010 so he could help look after Celeste.

"She takes things in her stride and works hard to catch up with her studies even though she was ill for a period of time. She never complains."

His wife, Madam Jackie Lee, 44, a housewife since quitting her job 10 years ago, said: "Our world came to a standstill when we found out about her brain tumour.

"There were tears, but there wasn't time to keep grieving because her condition required immediate attention.

"It broke my heart seeing Celeste suffer. I used to ask a lot of 'why?' questions - why did this happen to her and why she has to go through so much - but I came to a stage where I had to accept everything and trust God to carry us on."

Mr Chang went back to his old job in April 2013 but left again about a year later to care for Celeste and support his wife.

He declined to reveal how much he was earning.

SURVIVED ON SAVINGS
During his time out of work, they survived on his savings and contemplated downgrading from their Bukit Timah condominium home.

Celeste's medical bills were covered by the insurance from Mr Chang's former employer.

She is on financial assistance in school.

However, the Changs learnt on Tuesday that their application for subsidies under the Medifund scheme for Celeste's on-going medication had been rejected by KKH.

They have to pay about $1,000 a month for her medication, which will get more expensive as she gets older and heavier because the cost of her growth hormone replacement therapy is dependent on weight.

When Celeste was diagnosed with the brain tumour, her parents' world shrank to just focussing on her and her siblings, Elliot, nine, and Jordan, six.

Madam Lee said: "Few people could understand what Celeste was going through.

"You think that when you're in a crisis, people will rally around you, but sadly that wasn't the case. Some friends and colleagues just disappeared."

Mr Chang added: "We learned to appreciate life. I used to chase after things like a bigger home and a bigger car, but now I worry about different things.

"The family kept each other going. I learned that being with my kids and teaching them the right things in life were more important."

By Melanie Heng, The New Paper, Thursday, 26 November 2015
This article was first published on Nov 26, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.



Reference