KLANG: Selangor Speaker Ng Suee Lim knows well the difficult journey families have to take when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer.
His wife Er Bee Ha, who was 42 at the time of her death in 2016, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004.
“It was a shock for the whole family but we managed to pull through and my wife won her first battle,” recalled the father of four.
Sadly, the dreaded disease returned 11 years later in the form of bone cancer and Er died in 2016.
Having endured that emotional journey, Ng is always supportive of efforts related to cancer research and appreciative of non-governmental organisations that offer various forms of support services to patients and their families.
Wanting to help these organisations as well as cancer research initiatives, Ng participated in the Khind Starfish Foundation’s Bald & Beautiful 3.0 programme on Saturday to go bald to raise funds.
“Funds collected will go towards cancer research as well as distributed to several NGOs,” said Ng.
He said NGOs played a pivotal role at a time when patients and their families needed support.
“When a loved one is battling cancer, the whole family faces the biggest challenge ever possible,” said Ng.
He said this was when the NGOs offering support services played a pivotal role.
“When my wife was ill, an NGO offering hospice services was our pillar of strength.
“Its members would visit my wife to comfort her as well as boost the morale of the rest of the family members,” he said.
According to Ng, many families need emotional intervention from these NGOs during their loved ones’ final moments.
“I went through it and I know,” he said.
Ng narrated how his wife’s condition took a turn for the worse a few weeks before Chinese New Year in the year she died.
“She told me she did not think she would be around for New Year.
“Although I was shattered inside, I put on a brave front and told her to have faith that our family would be together for the festival,” said Ng.
His family not only celebrated the New Year but also Chap Goh Meh together before Er died 18 days after the festival.
“It was the moral support we received during that time which helped us through,” he said, adding it was this “mind and heart-numbing experience” that made him want to do more for cancer research and the NGOs.