Singapore — Mr Noel Tan, a father of three and whose wife is a cancer patient, knows firsthand how sickness can affect a family, which is why he took it upon himself to help others through a fund-raising project.
“Noel Tan and his family have lived with cancer since 2016,” according to a statement on the giving.sg website. “While it has been a journey of ups and downs, he is immensely grateful for the treatment, support and care that his wife has received over the last five year at the National University Cancer Institute (NCIS).”
According to a todayonline.com report, Mr Tan’s wife was diagnosed with gastric cancer in 2016. The condition causes excruciating pain and discomfort. She underwent treatment but had a relapse in 2018. Mr Tan has become well-acquainted with the state of helplessness that accompanies those closely related to these patients.
It was during one of their visits to NCIS that it occurred to Mr Tan that other patients and caregivers are possibly struggling to cope with periodic medical bills, especially if they have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Tan then thought of using his hobby of cycling to engage in a fund-raising project. He cycled 500km around Singapore on Saturday and Sunday (Dec 19 and 20) to raise a target sum of S$51,000 for financially disadvantaged patients and families. He was joined by a friend, Mr Charlie Wilson, who wanted to raise money for a UK-registered charity. The distance covered is approximately equivalent to crossing the Causeway to Malacca in Malaysia and back.
The fund-raising project, called “The Cyclist VS Cancer 2020″, hopes to direct attention to cancer care for financially disadvantaged patients at NCIS. It also aims to promote cutting-edge research into new therapies to help patients maintain their health and quality of life, as well as to provide training for healthcare professionals to deliver improved care, according to the statement on giving.sg.
“Even in the best of times, if a family member has a condition like cancer, it takes an emotional and financial toll. This year, Covid-19 has added further stress,” said Mr Tan. “When a caregiver loses his or her job, it doesn’t mean the cancer doesn’t need to be treated. I cannot imagine the amount of stress and additional mental and emotional burden some families are facing.”
In an update on Sunday evening, NCIS posted clips of Mr Tan taking the final lap and arriving at the finishing point of his journey.
About S$60,000 and counting have been raised by the initiative. Donations will be accepted till Dec 31.