Motivating: Pong, an amputee, sharing her story while Dr Ahmad (left) and a representative of Petrus, Tan Yi Liang, look on.
A unique campaign which seeks to highlight individuals with inspiring stories behind their scars was initiated recently by Medinova AG, Switzerland.
Called Hiruscar Beautiful, the corporate social responsibility (CSR) project recognised Jenny Pong Seow Chin, Keisha Somasundram Petrus and Dr Ahmad Anas Abdul Majid for their inspiring “scars with stories”.
Guest of honour at the award presentation ceremony was Senator Bathmavathi Krishnan.
Each recipient received RM8,000 and a hamper from Medinova.
More than 400 doctors, pharmacists and editors were invited to submit their nominations during the campaign. A panel then shortlisted three nominees who best represented the purpose of the campaign.
“We want to recognise the challenges that people experience in life and let them know that we are there for them,” said Medinova regional OTC (Over The Counter) marketing director Pamela Tan.
As the recipients shared their stories, it was evident that the scars truly made them beautiful in their own way as they rose to various challenges.
Pong, 48, had both legs amputated after developing an infection when she was just 18. She was not able to sit, and moved around using a wooden trolley which her brothers constructed for her. Even though bruises and scars continued to be a part of her daily life, she still managed daily activities like cleaning herself and even cooking.
As a motivational speaker, she inspires others through her talks. “I lost my legs but I did not lose my smile” said Pong.
Petrus, a psychology student at SEGi University College has been living with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). NF2 is a genetic condition which causes non-cancerous tumours to grow in the nervous system and treatment involves numerous surgical operations, radio surgery sessions as well as chemotherapy. Although wheelchair-bound and deaf, Petrus focused her energy on taking small steps and supporting those with similar conditions.
Speaking through a representative, Petrus exuded optimism and referred to her post-surgery scars as “souvenirs” that serve as a reminder of yet another victory in her battle for life.
Dr Ahmad Anas was involved in a traffic accident 12 years ago where he sustained second and third degree burns on 45% of his body.
He spent four months in the hospital undergoing split skin grafting surgeries and treatment, and another four years of therapy to regain mobility. Now, the jovial 26-year-old medical graduate aims to inspire others, especially his patients.
In his speech, he dedicated the award to his parents, siblings, teachers and doctors who treated him.
“I wish there was Hiruscar gel all those years ago, I would be more handsome than I am now,” he joked.
“I am truly humbled by all their stories and we will definitely continue this CSR project every year to create awareness about these beautiful people and let them know that they do not have to hide behind their scars,” said Tan.
The public is invited to view the photography exhibition which documents the daily lives of the three awardees at Publika, Level G1 from April 12 to 20 and Level G3 from April 21 to 24.
The photographs can also be viewed online at www.facebook.com/Hiruscar.Gel.Malaysia