TWO-thirds of paediatric cancer patients admitted into Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) are from the lower-income group.
The figures were revealed by UMMC professor and consultant paediatric haematologist and oncologist Dr Hany Ariffin.
She highlighted that a significant number of families were burdened with the high cost of treatment, medication and transportation costs.
“There have been many instances of patients abandoning their treatment because of limited finances.”
She said this was disheartening as children with cancer had a 90% chance of survival.
Aware of this issue, entertainment establishment Waikiki is hosting its third annual “Bald and Beautiful” charity event under its community service programme, Tribute to Kindness (TTK).
The annual event which raised RM105,000 and RM172,000 in 2013 and 2014 respectively managed to aid two cancer patients from UMMC.
One of them is 14-year-old Siow Wei Kean who was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) about a year ago.
The aid from TTK and the hospital managed to alleviate some of the burden felt by Siow’s father who is a taxi driver.
Popular singer and actress Jaclyn Victor-Rivera, who was present during the UMMC paediatric oncology ward visit with Dr Hany, said many people were unaware of the hardships faced by these patients and taking part in the charity event was the least that she could do to help them.
The singer and actress will be performing during the event at Waikiki on Sunday (March 29) from 5pm along with 65 other artistes and musicians.
The event will start at 5pm and will see 13 participants shaving their heads bald and seven who are opting to go “bold” by dying their hair with washable hair dyes.
Also joining the visit to the paediatric oncology ward was UMMC medical social work department head Siti Norhayati Harun, TTK founder and Waikiki owner Tony Siew, TTK committee members Judy Pow and Joy Victor, and veteran singer Zainal Abidin.
For details, visit on the charity event, go to www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-To-Kindness/249295125199664 or www.facebook.com/events/811218192283558