News

Message from BTSS President, Melissa Lim

Dear BTSS Family,

About this time last year, we abruptly cancelled our Chinese New Year support group meeting and customary “Lohei”. In addition, our 6th Founder’s Day celebration scheduled in March 2020 and Brainy Car Rally in Nov 2020 were scrapped.

In response, BTSS very quickly instituted our ZOOM support group meetings under the leadership of committee member, Peter Koh. With the assistance of volunteers Katherine Chin and William Seah, our Support Group Team has been able to reach out to many new members and refer them to receive practical assistance through BTSS counselling and welfare programmes.

BTSS worked closely with NCSS to distribute COVID-19 care packages and masks donated by thoughtful members of our community.  We also moved our Medical Talks online, covering topics like ‘Brain Tumours and COVID-19’ and ‘Side Effects of BT Treatments’.  To maintain engagement with our community, we started BTSS Birthday Blessings under the leadership of committee member, Nam, who is assisted by volunteer William Seah.

With our Fund Raising severely affected by the pandemic, BTSS launched a digital campaign based on the inspiring life story of our committee member, Shawn Low, on Facebook and YouTube. The funds raised are still modest and we appreciate your kind support to share our campaign and donate generously towards our establishment and programmes.

Several community events were facilitated through ZOOM. Towards the end of 2020, we were able to resume small group events such as the local tours while our youths also organised 2 small group outings. We are planning to organise some interesting small group events in March 2021 in celebration of our 7th Founder’s Day. Watch out for more details!

The greatest impact of COVID-19 restrictions has been on those who are newly diagnosed, those undergoing active treatments and facing relapses. Thanks to BTSS WhatsApp groups, these members have been able to receive peer support in their toughest times. To encourage and facilitate even more discussion and interaction, BTSS will activate a BTSS Facebook Community Group in April 2021.

Behind the scenes in 2020, BTSS Senior Manager, Jackie Lee, had been busy working with the EXCO to set-up our financial and governance systems. Jackie has requested to step down as an employee of BTSS on 28 Feb 2021 to focus her attention on her family. Thankfully, Jackie will remain with BTSS as an EXCO member. The EXCO has decided to split her portfolio between 2 new executives. Ms Crystal Tan is currently on a WSG Career Trial with us and will join as a Finance and Governance Executive on a part-time work arrangement in March. Our new Programme Executive, Ms Janie Joseph, will join BTSS full-time on 15 March 2021. In a nutshell, Crystal will process all members’ grant applications and claims while Janie will be point of liaison for members, volunteers and partners for BTSS online and in-person events and programmes.

The mission of BTSS has always been ‘Connecting to Befriend, Enable and Empower’ so that we can walk with every brain tumour patient and family at every stage of their brain tumour journey. With increased manpower capacity, BTSS is looking forward to adding more value to our members and supporters through better outreach and governance.

In closing, although it was a challenging disease that has brought us together, we have built a meaningful   supportive community that has been conferred the Inspirational Patient Group Award by Singapore Health in 2020. Indeed, having a brain tumour does not limit our capacities to live life well, as many in our community have shown from their inspiring examples. I encourage our amazing BTSS community to grow in our core values of Benevolence, Thoughtfulness, Spiritedness and Service to be more and do more for ourselves, our families, our community and country.

 

 

 

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Youths at Play @ Playnation

After their first outing as a group, our BTSS youths powered up and organised a second outing on 28 December 2020.  This time, they decided on an afternoon of gaming at Playnation @ Scape in Orchard.  The 10 youths split into 2 groups and met up at Orchard MRT before proceeding to the gaming haven where you could indulge in electronic games, as well as, good old board games.

One of the participants Qin Han shared the following :

“The afternoon at Playnation was pretty fun . They had a wide selection of games that we enjoyed. The free flow snacks was nice as well. Personally liked Mario kart and Mario party, as more players are able to be involved. Wouldn’t mind coming back again. Their baked rice dishes items aren’t that great. Would suggest eating elsewhere first if possible.”

Let’s hope the COVID19 situation will improve and our youths could organise more activities in 2021!

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BTSS feature in Singapore Health newspaper

This article appears in the September-October 2020 issue of Singapore Health newspaper, a Singapore General Hospital and SingHealth publication.

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Be a Mathemagician!

BTSS was privileged to have coach Priya spend a morning with 10 of our kids on 21 May 2020 over ZOOM video conferencing.  It was a break from this unique lull school holiday season.  In over an hour, coach Priya showed and taught the kids the mathematics behind a trick.  Even though this was the first time that a BTSS kids event has been held virtually, there was little hiccups and everyone participated actively.  It was a productive morning and the kids can’t wait for their second session with coach Priya next week!  Thank you coach Priya for sharing your love for BTSS!

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BTSS COVID-19 Care Package

BTSS has acquired and received donations of masks and thermometers which we will allocate to those among us who are unwell and require active treatments such as chemo, radiotherapy and medical reviews and tests.
If you are such a patient, please complete this form http://bit.ly/BTSSCares
Brain tumour patients who are not yet members of BTSS can likewise put in your request for masks and thermometers by reaching out to [email protected]
We appreciate donations from recipients and supporters to replenish our stocks which are mostly imported from overseas.

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Healthy Diet & Lifestyle Workshop – 7 March 2020

With COVID-19 precautionary measures put in place, BTSS invited Shilpi Mohanty, a holistic health and wellness coach to share her knowledge and experience with us. We were inspired to make simple changes to our diet, personal care and even breathing techniques to improve our well-being. Thank you so much Shilpi for enlightening us this morning 😊

 

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NUSSCSC Grant A Wish – 26 Oct 2019

Our kids met up for the second time with the student volunteers from NUS Students’ Community Club Service for the wish engagement activities at KK Women’s & Children’s Hospital on 26 Oct 2019.  Despite the air conditioning system not working at the Staff Lounge, the kids had fun engaging in craft activities where they made gifts for children from another organisation.  To give is always a blessing which we hope our kids will learn to appreciate.

The finale of this program will happen on 14 December, which is also our Christmas Party!  Watch out for the announcement!

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BTSS Tuition Programme

The school year is almost coming to an end, and the weekly group tuition has been concluded. We would like to express our gratitude to Yicheng, Terynn, Jaycinth, Bryan and Sean from Hwa Chong Institution for putting others above themselves to tutor our BTSS kids over the last few months. Having these big brothers and sisters to look up upon, our young beneficiaries had enjoyed the learning journey even more.
We would be back with a tuition program for our BT kids in 2020. Brain tumour kids who are keen to join our programmes should contact our office at [email protected] for information and arrangements.

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Miss World Singapore Coronation Night

Lights!Cameras!Action! It was a starry night on 19 Oct as 13 of our beneficiaries were invited to the coronation night of Miss World Singapore at MediaCorp Studio. BTSS is adopted as the charity for Miss World Singapore’s Beauty with a Purpose program. Watching the event live, our beneficiaries had a chance to glimpse behind the scenes, and went home understanding how the Beauty with a Purpose program has raised funds for disadvantaged people all over the world since it’s inception in 1972. Thank you Celebrity Group for adopting BTSS as the charity for Miss World Singapore 2019.

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Lim Boon Keng The Musical

Our beneficiaries were in for a sensory treat over the period 10-13 Oct 2019 as they were treated to the first ever musical on Lim Boon Keng staged at Victoria Theatre.  This was brought to us by the good people of Musical Theatre Limited.  A BIG Thank You to you MTL!  For some of us, it was the first time experiencing a musical, and for all, a wonderful feast for the eyes, ears and souls.  Such was the power of the musical that had a young active beneficiary sitting still for a full 70 minutes!  Therapy can indeed come in different forms, so thank you again MTL for the blessings you gave to our beneficiaries!

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