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Friday June 28, 2013
By JOSEPHINE JALLEH firstname.lastname@example.org Photo by GARY CHEN
LEUKAEMIA patient Benjamin Yeoh Chun How, 16, needs about RM200,000 for his bone marrow transplant surgery urgently to prevent a relapse.
His mother Angela Chee, 45, said the surgery needed to be carried out next month.
The housewife said the family could not afford the cost and appealed for public donations.
“He suffers from Philadelphia positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a form of blood cancer. He was diagnosed in April last year and has been undergoing chemotherapy since.
“The doctor now recommends that the transplant be done to prevent a relapse. It needs to be done urgently,” she wept during a press conference at the state MCA headquarters in Jalan Pahang, George Town, yesterday.
The transplant surgery at the Sime Darby Medical Centre costs between RM150,000 and RM200,000.
Chee said that if there was an excess in donations, they would channel it towards the Penang MCA Medical Fund to benefit other health patients.
Benjamin, a Penang Free School boy, now studied on his own at home as he was unable to attend school.
He would be receiving his 14-year-old younger brother, Benedict’s matching bone marrow.
His businessman father, Cheng Thor, 49, said the doctor advised the operation to be done before the end of July.
Penang MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau deputy chief Lim Thoon Deong said the family had already spent around RM350,000 for Benjamin’s treatment and chemotherapy in the past year.
“Benjamin is a brilliant student and he needs the help of the public.
“The Penang MCA Medical Fund is contributing RM3,000. We will also help them apply for financial aid from the 1MCA Medical Foundation Fund,” he said.
Penang MCA deputy chairman Datuk Dr Loh Hock Hun, who was also present, said that with the transplant, Benjamin had a good chance of recovering.
Benjamin said it was boring to stay at home but he played occasional sports, although not too strenuous as he tires easily.
“I am very happy to know that my brother can give his bone marrow to me. The doctor told me that the transplant is better than the intensive chemotherapy option.
“The intensive option would be double the dosage of what I received before this,” he said.
Benedict, who admitted feeling nervous about the transplant, said he was hopeful of his brother’s recovery.
Donations can be made to Angela Chee Mei Lean’s Maybank account 557241052563.
The public can also call the MCA headquarters at 04-2267827 or 2267830 to donate.
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