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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Race against cancer 2013

Running a marathon is popular among Singaporeans. There is something about running; what it does to the body and the mind. Firstly, you feel energetic and eager. More than halfway through, you begin to feel tired and wish you have not start. Then three quarter of the way, you begin to push yourself and your mind begin to encourage your body to complete the journey and to look forward to the finishing line.

The fight against cancer is the same. Although nobody expect and want to go through the cancer journey, cancer can strike anyone at anytime. Initially, one will feel eager to finish this "nightmare" and get thorough this journey as soon as possible so as to go back to normal life. Half way through the surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy or whatever treatment combinations that are being offered, one wish to take a rest and many just give up. It is usual to cry. It is usual to feel pain and generally unwell in the body as the body is not prepared to take on the treatments all of a sudden. But, the caregivers and bystanders (friends, relatives and health care professionals) would just give encouragement to push the runners through and help them  see the finishing line in front. Sometimes, in many cases, people that you do not know will come around and encourage you and some even offer you water and food genuinely. There are people in the society who is caring. 

The NPC support group is very much the bystander and the good people around. What is unique, is that they are cancer survivors and had been ex-runners. Cancer survivors like Dave, Peter and Carol completed their own journeys and their cancer have been cured. Yet, they came back for the sole purpose to run the cancer journey with the newly diagnosed cancer patients, as fellow runners to encourage and motivate them to carry on, to persevere towards the finishing line. I applaud them for their commitment and dedication as they have been doing this for many years. 

So, the Singapore Cancer Society Race Against Cancer 2013 has a special meaning to them. They ran as a group. They ran as a family. They ran with their own caregivers. They ran to remind themselves that they ran against cancer and finished their race successfully. Now, they are back. Stronger and more committed that the fight against cancer is a shared responsibility. Together, we are one. We are NPC One Heart Support Group.

Dr. Choo Bok Ai
Consultant Radiation Oncologist NUH/TTSH/NCIS
Assistant Professor NUS

Richard, Carol, Yvonne, Peter and Dave

We are strong as one

Hope instead of despair 

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