Nee Soon GRC launched “Never Alone”, Singapore’s first constituency-based cancer support and awareness movement on 27 Jan.
In this movement, residents who have survived cancer will befriend and encourage neighbours going through the same journey. This is believed to be the first cancer support and awareness movement in Singapore launched by a GRC ’s community and grassroots, with support from partners.
The movement includes 55 “Health Kakis” who are cancer survivors and residents of our GRC. They have been trained in basic cancer-related information and counselling skills. They are ready to befriend any residents who are going through cancer.
The two Cancer Resource Centres are at Blk 839 Yishun St 81 and Kebun Baru Community Club. They will include information about cancer, as well as a directory of organisations which support cancer patients and their families. The movement also includes awareness talks about cancer at the resource centres and at other community events.
Our five MPs – Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law K Shanmugam, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Er. Dr. Lee Bee Wah, Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang, and Mr Kwek Hian Chuan Henry were all present during the launch.
Minister K Shanmugam, Grassroots Adviser to Nee Soon GRC GROs, said,“1 in every 4 to 5 Singaporeans will go through cancer at some point in his or her life. It will make a difference for them to have the support from someone who has been through a similar journey. I thank all our Health Kakis for stepping forward to bravely share the challenges they faced, and to be that friend to someone else experiencing cancer. They will make a real difference in someone else’s life.”
“Health Kakis” Sally Low and Selina Salleh shared their stories onstage during the launch.
Sally is the sole breadwinner of the family. In order to care for her elderly mother, she had to quit her job at one time. She faced enormous emotional and financial strain. Thankfully, arrangements were made to let her mother stay in a nursing home. Social worker Jayne Leong was assigned to support Sally.
Just as she thought things have turned for the better, Sally found blood in her stools last year, and was later diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. It later spread to her lungs. News of the cancer dealt a heavy blow to Sally. Feeling depressed, she called Jayne for advice. Describing Jayne as a beacon of light in her darkest moments, Sally managed to overcome the difficult period.
After surgery, Sally is now undergoing treatment for cancer in her lungs. She no longer felt helpless, and is instead full of positivity. By being a “Health Kaki”, Sally hopes to help in whatever way she can, including sharing her personal experience. She wants let other patients know that they are not alone, and encourage others in similar situations not to give up.
Selina was diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump three years ago. While shocked at the news, her only focus was to beat cancer and receive treatment as soon as possible. She underwent surgery and even returned to work the next day after her first chemotherapy session. It was only until one week later, when her hair started falling. She had to shave her long hair and felt deeply emotional about her illness. Her daughter did the shaving for her and mother and daughter started crying together.
After rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Selina was given the all clear by her doctor last month. While battling cancer, Selina also helped other patients remain positive and encouraged them to seek treatment. Selina, who is also active in the grassroots, hopes to reach out to more patients who needs support and encouragement. She wants to help them as best as she can.
If you are interested in becoming a Health Kaki too, please contact Goodlife!@Yishun located at 838 Yishun Street 81, Singapore 760838.