I first got to know Ryan in Ngee Ann Polytechnic in 2001 and since then, we've been buddies through the years. Being better academically, he would
One year ago, while we were both training for IPPT, Ryan struggled to complete the 2.4km citing breathlessness. Very unusual for this relatively sporty guy. Concerned, he went for a check up after his IPPT test (passing all 4 static stations no less!) and then discovered his leukemic condition.
This shocked many including myself. Being science students, we have learnt about leukaemia and cancer in the classroom. However, at the age of 27 then, it was almoost unthinkable that it would strike so near us.
The discovery of his condition and the many medical tests and treatments he had to go through put considerable stress on him and his loved ones. It was a trying time.
However, I am amazed by Ryan's immense mental strength and courage. Despite his condition, he chose to see the many bright spots. He has quite a number of people who really cared and lent him support; his young age meant he would better be able to take on harsher chemo drugs; his coverage by insurance (thank God for insurance!) meant he did not have to worry too much about the treatment costs now amounting to $100,000. Moore amazing is his ability to turn his adversity to good.
Ryan used his own example to convince friends to get insurance and to inspire many to truly appreciate what they have. My own perspective on life got affected. Be happy and count one's blessings. Even a simple meal at home should be cherished. Having a job, no matter how sucky or stressful, is a blessing. Waking up in the moorning is a blessing, some might not have had that opportunity.
With Hair For Hope 2012, Ryan has signed up as a shavee to raise funds for the Children's Cancer Foundation. He aims to bless these children who are diagnosed with cancer at such a tender age with financial and emotional support. To give them a shout out that there are people who care for them.
I, too, have pledged my support (and hair) in his fundraising. Last year was my first time as a shavee and I felt first-hand the benefits of Hair For Hope. Besides money being raised for these children's treatments, another powerful component of the initiative is the awareness that comes with people asking about my botak head. Many young children who lose their hair after chemotherapy get weird stares from strangers and are shunned or made fun of by my their friends in school. With HFH, we hope to show them that being botak is ok. In fact, it even saves shampoo, conditioner and water, and there's no need to wait for hair to dry before sleeping! Moohehe.
You can play your part too! Donate a love gift here and/or spread the word by sharing this on your Facebook, Twitter and blogs. Every dollar and encouragement counts! A little action goes a long way. :)
Chew On This: In the month of July, This Hungry Cow will be requesting for hotels/restaurants/PR companies who reach out to him to make a contribution to this worthy cause. 100% of donations go straight to the Children's Cancer Foundation. I do hope corporations will be supportive! :)
The Hungry Cow