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Tribute to Shawn

23 March 2021

A Tribute to Shawn Low, BTSS Committee Member

Dear Shawn

This morning, I missed you and went to our what’s app chat where your motto “Live Life to the Fullest” greeted me. I was greatly comforted to remember how full you had lived your life although you left us too soon.

Many feel sad that your fight against cancer had come to naught. However, when I think about it, the battle for our lives, whether you are a cancer patient or healthy person, is a fight that everyone will eventually lose.  It is therefore a fallacy to hold on to the motto of “Live Life to the Longest” when we cannot control when our time would be up. Perhaps, because of our fear of death, most cancer patients and caregivers tend to focus on delaying the eventual with the goal of “Living Life to the Longest”.

However, as one who works and lives in a community of brain tumour patients, I see the real fight as not overcoming cancer to “Live Life to the Longest”, but overcoming the fear of cancer and death to “Live Life to the Fullest”. Shawn, I am so proud that while you responsibly sought treatments, you never abandoned your life motto. I could tell as every time I interacted with you, you were Full of Gratitude, Hope and Affection.

Gratitude

You were always ready to thank those who helped you. What’s more, you never failed to follow up with an affirmation of the person…. Your voice “wow, I really have to learn from you.” Still rings in my ear and that of others whom you had appreciated.

My mind still holds images of you at our last 2 Brainy Car Rallies. You were undergoing chemotherapy then yet you were determined to champion the projects to bring smiles to our children with brain tumours. You never once complained or asked for a stepped down role. Instead, you were grateful to be able to do something to bring cheer to the children whom you felt so much compassion for.

Hope

You were wise not to hold on to the hope of overcoming cancer as your only anchor but you created hope to look forward to every day. Like enjoying meals with your loved ones and friends, planning a trip out alone on your wheelchair, buying presents and celebrating the birthdays of your dear ones. I fondly recall how you expressed hope to attend my daughter’s wedding even though it would still be a long way off.

As a hopeful patient, you made it a more joyful and meaningful for your family and friends to be with you.  The opposite of hope is despair and patients who are full of despair often make the journeys tough and sad for their caregivers and themselves. This was never you although you had sometimes expressed worry and fear about not being able to recover.

Affection

You had always been generous with your affection, which you especially expressed in your last months. I recall how affectionately you always spoke of Marilyn, and your siblings as we went shopping to help you buy gifts that they would appreciate.

I felt your affection when you insisted on delivering the BTSS Birthday Blessing to me although you were in a wheelchair. I knew that you wanted to express how much you value me. In fact, from my interactions with you, I could see that you were a loyal friend to many and had never hesitated to extend help to those who needed your support.

Shawn, we are full of gratitude to you for touching so many hearts and lives through our four Brain Car Rallies. Thanks to you, BTSS managed to raise the funds we really needed in our early years.

We are grateful that you showed us how to be full of hope. It is not easy for cancer patients to put aside their fears to wake up every morning with a smile and confidence to face the world and embrace life. Shawn, you set the example for us by refusing to step back or be beaten. You fought hard and won the battle to live your best life every day until your very last breath. We are forever indebted to you for your contributions and shining example.

Because we are full of affection for you, it is now painful for us to say goodbye. We miss you dearly and grieve your passing. But we will see you in Heaven one day and until then, when we remember you, we will remember to “Live Life to the Fullest”.

Melissa Lim

Your friend & President, BTSS

PS: I have adopted “Live Life to the Fullest” as my What’s App status to honour the memory of Shawn Low. I urge every person who has been touched by Shawn Low to do likewise till his first month anniversary on 22 April 2021.

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Youths Day Out

21 November 2020 marked BTSS first youths’ outing at Jewel Changi Airport.  Adhering to the current COVID19 restrictions on social gatherings, the 10 youths were split into 2 groups and led by Qin Han and Leonard.  After meeting up at Changi Airport MRT station, the 2 groups proceeded to the Canopy Park at Jewel.  Canopy Park, as well as, the rest of Jewel, was decked in Christmas decorations which added wondrous festive cheer.  The youths explored the various attractions in Canopy Park in their own groups, and then proceeded for lunch after much walking.  Time passed fast and before long, the youths had to say goodbye to one another.

(We hope this is the first of many more outings for our youths, and we hope they find strength in one another and build lasting friendships.)

 

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Birthday Blessing for Cheryl

 

BTSS celebrated member Cheryl’s birthday today with the delivery of a cake by longtime volunteer Kim and staff Jackie.  We were warmly greeted by Patricia, Cheryl’s sister, who was thankful for us celebrating Cheryl’s 41st birthday.  Cheryl loves being around people and she also loves We Bare Bears!  The room was cheerfully decorated with We Bare Bears’ balloons, posters and sweet treats.  Though she spoke few words, we could feel that Cheryl getting at ease with us as she allowed Kim to pamper her.

The intention was to bless Cheryl with a simple birthday cake, but I left the hospice all toasty and warm.  The extent that Patricia went to make Cheryl’s birthday all about her favourite character showed the bond between the sisters runs deep and strong.  I am reminded that bliss is always there when you look harder.  Thank you Cheryl and Patricia!
~ Jackie

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BTSS Goes Jalan Jalan

As our nation takes steady steps to open up, BTSS would like to invite you to step out and enjoy Singapore!
 
We are organising 3 tours for you and your family to participate (with safety guidelines observed). Each family can choose ONE of the 3 tours available – Kampong, Chinatown or Changi Airport. The tours run for about 2-3 hours in the morning. You can find out more about these tours here:
 
To indicate your interest, please fill in the Google Form provided by this link
https://forms.gle/h1ebYaXQShMS6HFE9 and complete by 11 Nov 2020. Please call/WhatsApp Jackie at 8738-5669 if you have any questions.
Hope to see you all soon!
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Fun Zoom activities for kids

Held over 3 days (26, 27 and 29 May 2020), a group of enthusiastic volunteers led our kids through a series of activities on the Zoom platform.  Through games like Drawasaurus, Pictionary and Hangman, these sessions were a much-needed break from the doldrums of the stay-home season that everyone is in.  Though initially reserved, the kids managed to break out of their shells and became at ease with one another through the 3 sessions.  Thank you so much Ira, Aakriti, Ayush, Tanisha, Sumithra and Ms Padma!

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BTSS Inaugural e-Forum

‘Healthcare for Brain Tumour Patients during COVID-19 Crisis’. 😷👨‍⚕

If you missed our first e Forum on 16 May 20, you can access a recording of this informative dialogue on

https://youtu.be/goAo6RU2NBM

BTSS thanks our medical advisors, Dr Enrica Tan (KKH), Dr Kevin Chua (NCCS), Dr David Low (NNI), Prof Yeo Tseng Tsai and Dr Vincent Nga (NUH) for taking the time to enlighten us on how Singapore hospitals are adapting to provide a good quality of care to brain tumour patients while also ensuring our well being during the COVID-19 crisis.

BTSS also want to thank those who have take the time to ‘attend’ the eForum. We are encouraged to hear that many of you found the session informative and helpful 🤩

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Relaunching BTSS Wellness Fund

In tandem with our theme for 2020, BTSS wants to focus on emotional health and baseline fitness for our beneficiaries. Hence, we are relaunching the BTSS Wellness Fund.

 

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