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It’s a Paw-ty!

An otherwise normal Saturday morning turned out to be a furry one for 40 beneficiaries when they turned up at BTSS first-ever pet therapy session on 1 Oct 2022.

The natural cuteness factor of the dogs elicited the ohhs and ahhs from the participants. While many were contented to just pat the dogs, there were a handful who carried them like babies! There was an origami station where participants folded dog crafts. Everyone waited patiently for their opportunity to take pictures with the adorable dogs at the special photo booth.

It was also a time for our members to rekindle relationships since they haven’t seen each other for close to 3 years. It was heartwarming to see new faces mingling and chatting with the older members.

A shout out to Fabian, the lead volunteer for this event. Special thanks to Crane for letting us use their venue at Robertson Quay. And of course, this would not be possible without the participation from the dog owners and the dogs. Woof! woof!

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Magic Workshop

What better way to start the September school holidays than a magical one? On 3 Sep 2022, volunteers from the Singapore Institute of Technology dazzled our young beneficiaries with a magic show. The highlight of the event was the imparting of “secrets” to the kids so that they can perform the same tricks and awed others. Judging from the smiles from the participants, it was one awesome morning. Many thanks to the volunteers who had been planning for this event since March this year! And we are grateful for venue sponsor Inspire Church for letting us use the space.

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Brainy Car Rally 2022

This post was originally published on The Straits Times.

SINGAPORE – A charity drive aimed at spreading awareness about brain tumours raised more than $32,000 on Sunday (July 31).

Hosted by the Brain Tumour Society Singapore (BTSS), the event returned after a four-year hiatus and offered patients joyrides in 16 Lamborghini cars.

Held in collaboration with Lamborghini Club Singapore, the Brainy Car Rally was held at Outram Community Hospital.

Besides the round trips between Singapore General Hospital in Outram and HarbourFront in Telok Blangah, the event also featured interactive stations that simulate brain surgery.

At the stations, participants can wear virtual reality goggles to view surgery in 3D and try out tools used in neurosurgery.

They can also “experience” the pre- and post-operation assessments typically done during awake brain surgery.

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam, who attended the event as guest of honour, said brain tumours are not as rare as they are often believed to be.

“In Singapore, brain and central nervous system cancers are the third and sixth most common cancers affecting those below 30 years old for males and females respectively,” she said.

While a diagnosis of brain tumour can be devastating, she added that she is heartened by the community’s support for such patients.

Of the rally held on Sunday to bring the community together, Ms Mahzam said: “It is assuring to know BTSS stands ready to support them at every stage of their journey.”

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Walk into the New Year

What better way to start the new year than a refreshing walk in one of the many NParks in Singapore!

4 youth beneficiaries and their families met up in the early morning of 22 January at Upper Thomson Pierce Reservoir for the walk. The walk was organised by our new EXCO member, Peter Koh. Though it was the first time meeting one another, it took no time for them to start chatting up. After walking for 2 hours, the group could not resist heading to Casuarina Restaurant for the mouth-smacking pratas.

We would like to make such walks a regular feature this year for BTSS beneficiaries. If you are keen to join us, please send us an email to [email protected]

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“Blessings in a Bag” Project by IT IS ME Z3CH

Zechariah was 11 year old when he departed very suddenly on 2nd September 2020 due to a malignant brain tumour. In memory of her beloved son, Juliana captured his life through a merchandise collection called “Life is a Wonder”

Quote Zechariah, “you can wonder on everything in life but it is the beautiful things in life that you must admire. You may not live long but life is just a wonder”.

Juliana has generously donated the proceeds from “Life is a Wonder” collection to BTSS. Last weekend, she also contributed a range of merchandises that were packed as ‘Blessings in a Bag’ and delivered by our wonderful volunteers to our BTSS Kids.

Thank you Juliana for bringing smiles to us and inspiring us to admire and enjoy all the beautiful things in life, just like Zechariah did.

To read more of Zechariah’s story, do check the website: https://www.itismez3ch.com/

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Virtual Terrarium Workshop 18 April 2021

A fun-filled Sunday afternoon with our young beneficiaries of BTSS. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic posing restrictions on physical events, BTSS and students from Hwa Chong Institution (Project Solaris) still managed to bring the event fully virtual through Zoom.
Our youth gained a better appreciation for nature and the need to protect our environment which is no easy task!
We hope all participants enjoyed themselves and will continue to care for their little Terrariums – developing patience and responsibility during this process!

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Easter Carepacks Distribution 4 April 2021

On Easter Sunday, a group of student volunteers from Dulwich College Singapore in collaboration with BTSS, put together Carepacks consisting of masks, hand sanitizers, stationaries, chocolates and an Easter activity set that were distributed to 20 beneficiaries of BTSS. The youth volunteers raised funds to sponsor and deliver the Carepacks to the families on Easter day. Our young volunteers shared that it was a humbling and meaningful service for all of them.

A big thank you to the team of youth volunteers that collaborated with BTSS to show their solidarity to our cause.

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Share Your Story

You have walked a journey less ordinary.  You have been to the troughs of life and emerge stronger than most ordinary people.  You life speaks volume.  Come and share your stories with others who are struggling.  Let them see glimmers of light through your stories.

Pen your stories and send them to [email protected] by 25 April 2021.

As a form of appreciation, we have a small surprise for the first 9 submissions.

 

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Info on COVID-19 vaccine for brain tumour patients

 

Brain Tumour Patients and COVID-19 Vaccines

To guide brain tumour patients in your vaccination decisions, BTSS medical advisors have compiled the following from reliable sources for your reference. Please note our disclaimer that the information provided is not intended as professional advice specific to your medical conditions. BTSS and our medical advisors will not be responsible for any outcome resulting from your personal vaccination decision.

  • COVID-19 vaccinations will protect our loved ones and allow more activities to resume.
  • All vaccines used in Singapore must comply with WHO guidelines and be approved by the Health Sciences The 2 currently approved vaccines are Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna.
  • The clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines have shown them to be effective and acceptably safe.
  • Many international agencies continue to monitor these vaccines on an ongoing basis to ensure their benefits continue to outweigh any risks.
  • Some typical side effects include injection-site reactions (sore arm for example) and generalised symptoms such as ‘flu-like ’illness, headache, chills, fatigue (tiredness), nausea (feeling sick), fever, dizziness, weakness, aching muscles, and rapid heartbeat.
  • These happen shortly after the vaccination and are not associated with more serious or lasting Side effects tend to resolve within a day or two and these types of reactions reflect the normal immune response triggered by the body to the vaccines.
  • Widespread use of the vaccine now suggests that severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are very rare. Anaphylaxis can also be a very rare side effect associated with most other vaccines.
  • Patients who are immunocompromised should hold off receiving the vaccination. These include cancer patients on chemotherapy or immunosuppressive treatment.
  • Patients on surveillance whose tumours are not progressing can receive the COVID-19 vaccine three months after the completion of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
  • Patients who have undergone curative treatment and are not on immunosuppressive treatment are considered to have immune systems as healthy as any other person without cancer diagnosis and are encouraged to be vaccinated.
  • One should consult your doctor if in doubt of your immune status.
  • Physical distancing measures, masks, face shields, sanitizers and other hygiene measures are still required during the pandemic, including for patients with cancer, and should certainly accompany the vaccination strategies.
  • If you suffer from other chronic medical conditions, please consult your doctor if there are further queries on fitness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information:
https://www.gov.sg/features/covid-19-vaccination

 

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Kampong Tour 5 Dec 2020

A nostalgic walk into the days before HDB flats became the standard of housing in Singapore awaited 5 BTSS families on the cherry morning of 5 Dec 2020.  Led by Mr Yap of Let’s Go Tours, we discovered the last surviving kampong in Singapore – Kampong Lorong Buangkok.  This village is smacked in the middle of modern developments but once you enter it, you are greeted with a kind of serene and laidback feel.  Through the 2 hour tour, the engaging Mr Yap fed us with history of the area and offered insights into the villagers’ life while we walked through the village.  To let us immerse in kampong life, we played old school games like zero point and marbles.  For majority of the kids in our tour, it was the first time playing them, and everyone had fun!  To round off the tour, we were invited to a Muslim home and treated to homemade ice pops (the traditional one whereby they are made by tying a rubber band at the end of the plastic bag) – a first for many too!

Despite the social distancing rules we had to observe, I really enjoyed the tour and am so thankful to see the other BTSS families again.