Being blind didn't stop her from scaling mountain

PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Climbing the 4,095m-high Mount Kinabalu, one of South-east Asia's highest peaks, is challenging even for a physically fit person.

But Ms Rosie Wong, who is blind, managed to scale most of the mountain at the age of 50 in 1998, barely a year after an operation to straighten her deformed right leg.

"One wrong step and it would be the end of me, but at that time I just wanted to challenge myself and have fun," said Ms Wong, 67, who became blind after a bout of high fever at age nine.

She had made the trip with 10 students from Springfield Secondary and trusted them to guide her up the mountain.

 

Ms Wong had a radical streak from young. "I was never afraid to try new things because I feel that life should be lived to the fullest," she said.

After working for 33 years as a telephone operator, she went back to school to get a diploma in aromatherapy and holistic massage in her mid-50s.

LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST

I was never afraid to try new things because I feel that life should be lived to the fullest.

MS ROSIE WONG, who became blind after a bout of high fever at age nine

Today, she is still a freelance masseur and sews items for the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped to sell for charity. "If I can do, I will do and not say die," said Ms Wong, who is married with two children.

"When I was at the top of the mountain, I began to realise how all human conflict and strife seem so distant, petty and trivial and I just wanted to try and experience things like any other normal person ."

Janice Tai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline 'Being blind didn't stop her from scaling mountain'. Print Edition | Subscribe