Former minister George Yeo's wife being treated for rare form of nose cancer

Lawyer Jennifer Yeo, the wife of former minister George Yeo, is being treated in Houston for a "very rare sino nasal cancer".
Lawyer Jennifer Yeo, the wife of former minister George Yeo, is being treated in Houston for a "very rare sino nasal cancer".PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Lawyer Jennifer Yeo, wife of former Foreign Minister George Yeo, is undergoing treatment for a rare form of nose cancer.

Mrs Yeo, 59, said in a Facebook post on Monday (Aug 14) that she has "a very rare sino nasal cancer" and is being treated in Houston, Texas, at MD Anderson Cancer Center, which has been ranked the top cancer hospital in the United States.

About 1 out of every 100,000 people worldwide are stricken with sinonasal tumours every year.

Mr Yeo also posted on Facebook on Monday evening to say that he and two of his children are working out of Houston to be near Mrs Yeo. He thanked well wishers, as well as the doctors at Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital for their advice.

Her disease is reportedly the Yeo family's second cancer case.

Her fourth and youngest child Frederick, who is now 23, was diagnosed with childhood leukaemia at age three.

He was treated at St Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had a bone marrow transplant and several months of therapy.

The experience led Mrs Yeo to set up Viva Foundation in 2006, a charity to improve the cure rate for children with cancer in Singapore and the region.

She said in her post that her cancer caused her to miss this year's National Day Parade, in which her mother, Madam Mary Ho, 81, performed.

Madam Ho, widely known as Grandma Mary, performed an electric guitar solo at the parade. Her guitar performances on YouTube are popular on the Internet.

Said Mrs Yeo: "This year's National Day is an extraordinary one for me not only because my mother, Grandma Mary, performed at the Parade show but because I couldn't attend the National Day Parade for the first time in more than 25 years."

She has been in Houston since last month for treatment and watched a live telecast of the parade.