New fund launched to help children with leukaemia


PETALING JAYA: A new non-governmental organisation has set up a foundation called Save Leukaemia Kids Mission, in aid of families struggling with childhood leukaemia.

The initiative, by Pertubuhan Cintai Malaysia or Love Malaysia Organisation (LMO), was launched on Aug 30.

“LMO’s first challenge is to raise funds in aid of Tan Chee Kiat to enable him to receive an advanced US Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for leukaemia from private hospitals,” said its president Kpt (Rtd) Datuk Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi in a statement.

Dr Zulkafperi said Chee Kiat was suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, adding that the 16-year-old had a relapse about four months ago.

Chee Kiat, who is now warded at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, is the sole caregiver of his father who suffered a stroke in 2010. His mother died last year.

“The teenager has also developed resistance to chemotherapy and is now in urgent need of a new treatment called CAR-T,” said Dr Zulkafperi, referring to chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy.

As CAR-T has yet to receive the Health Ministry’s approval, this treatment is only available in private hospitals, costing at least RM300,000.

Under CAR-T, the patient’s T cells (a type of cell that provides immunity) are modified in a laboratory so they will attack cancer cells.

Dr Zulkafperi said several clinical trials in Malaysia had shown positive and promising results.

“More and more children are dying from leukaemia every day. With this ongoing case, we will take up the challenge to raise RM1mil or more to provide all the necessary treatment to save Chee Kiat and other children.

“If advanced treatment is required, we will assist to transfer the patient to an advanced facility in Singapore or the United States, which can cost up to RM3mil,” he said.

Dr Zulkafperi urged individuals and corporate bodies to give their full support to the Save Leukaemia Kids Mission so that patients like Chee Kiat and others would have a second chance.

“His life journey may not be long if we are not able to find any other type of advanced treatment for him,” he said, adding that RM20,000 had been raised so far.

Donations can be made to Maybank account 5627 5969 0033 (under LMO). The NGO can be reached at 010-363 3393 or lovemalaysia.org@gmail.com.


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