ALOR SETAR: The lunar new year has not brought much joy and cheer for elderly couple Chan Ah Lay and her husband, Lee Juan Huat.
Not only because they are poor, they had also used up whatever left in their savings after Lee, 74, was diagnosed with blood cancer a few years ago.
Chan, 72, has been taking care of her husband and it has taken a further toll on her as Lee had a fall in the bathroom about a month ago. They have no children.
“There's nothing for us to look forward to this new year, I cannot even sew clothes to earn some extra money as a tailor, as I have to take my husband and make frequent visits to the hospital,” she told Bernama.
While they are thankful for the donations from friends and neighbours to pay for the transport fare to and from the hospital, there have been times when they also missed hospital check-ups and appointments simply because they could not afford to pay the van charges which could come up to RM80 per trip.
The couple need between RM500 and RM600 a month for transport and to buy disposable diapers and special formula for Lee.
According to Chan, they were lucky as a friend had allowed them to stay for free on the first floor of a shophouse in Jalan Dato Kumbar here, but it was daunting for Lee as he still needs help to get down to the ground floor.
The couple’s hardship today captured the attention of Cancer Survivors Malaysia, a non-governmental organisation, which took the initiative to present them with some essential items and food supplies.
Its founder, Zuraini Kamal, said she would seek help from the Social Welfare Department and urged community leaders, agencies and corporations to give out appropriate contributions as they were entitled to receive support and aid. — Bernama