LIONS Clubs International (LCI) Global Service Team vice-constitutional area leader Datuk Patrick Chew gifted a huge bear to a toddler who returned from Spain after receiving cancer treatment.
The gesture showed Chew’s soft heart as three-year-old Jayden Ban’s plight was closely followed by members of the Lions Club of Kuala Lumpur (LCKL). Jayden had just flown back from Barcelona with his parents after undergoing immunotherapy for an aggressive form of cancer. His trip was made possible with public funds raised by LCKL.
Chew, who drove to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) an hour earlier told StarMetro to wait while he rushed to a toy shop to get a cuddly teddy bear “to cheer up the toddler”.
Parents Marcus Ban, 35, and Tan Mooi Mooi, 34, who entered the KLIA arrival hall with little Jayden were overwhelmed on seeing Chew, LCKL’s City Pediatric Cancer Project organising chairman Stella Foo and other 12 Lions Club members in their striking yellow vest.
Seated in a stroller, Jayden’s eyes lit up and he smiled upon seeing the teddy bear.
He was also as excited when Lions Club of Subang Jaya president Marilyn Gwee presented him with a soft toy lion.
Chew said the Lions Club members wanted to welcome the little boy and his parents at the airport to celebrate a milestone in his fight against the rare form of cancer called neuroblastoma.
This embryonal cancer (solid tumour) affects mostly children under the age of five.
Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that forms in certain types of nerve tissue. It frequently starts from one of the adrenal glands but can also develop in the neck, chest, abdomen or spine.
Ban, a project manager for an engineering company, said he was glad his son responded well to the treatment at Hospital San Joan de Deu, in Esplugues de Llobregat, a municipality bordering Barcelona, Catalonia.
“In three months’ time, Jayden will have to return for medical assessment,” he said.
Ban added that each time his son completed the multiple treatments in Barcelona, he would get him his favourite dessert, ice cream.
“I will buy him ice cream soon, as he has been such a cheerful child despite all the medical treatment,” he said.
Chew said Foo was instrumental in the coordination with the parents and hospitals.
“Our Lions Club works as a family. We network with other Lions Clubs overseas and we receive tremendous support. We are glad that the Lions Club in Esplugues de Llobregat, Barcelona helped the family in the last eight months,” he said.
It was an emotional moment to see Foo, a mother of two, with tears running down her cheeks upon seeing Jayden at the arrival hall.
“I was just happy to see the family back. It was good to see that the little boy had overcome the dreadful disease and thinking back on the sacrifices the parents had made over the past months in a foreign land,” she said.