SINGAPORE - Abbas Esoof Saleh suffers from a kidney condition which causes him to feel weak after strenuous activities and makes him prone to falling ill easily.
"If I overexert myself, I would feel dizzy or tired," he said.
But despite his condition, the Primary 6 pupil at Greenwood Primary School, who goes for check-ups at least three times yearly, never used his illness as an excuse to shy away from his responsibilities in school.
Abbas, who has three siblings aged between 11 and 19, took on the role of a class monitor in Primary 4 and 6, and was well-liked by his peers.
Often, the 12-year-old would go out of his way to help his classmates when they needed assistance with their schoolwork. He also made it a point to ensure the classroom was kept clean and would remind his friends to do the same.
"As a class monitor, I am supposed to show a good example," he said. "I would give my best in everything."
On Thursday (Nov 24), the pupil graduated from the school with a score of 179 at the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), making him eligible to enter the Normal (Academic) stream in secondary school.
But when he first entered primary school, his parents were concerned about his well-being. That changed over the years when they knew that his teachers were looking out for him.
"They felt relieved and allowed me to do sports and play with my friends," he said.
His form teacher, Madam Shameni, said Abbas, like his peers, also took part in school activities. But the teachers monitored him closely when he did strenuous activities.
"He does not use his condition to say that he can't do something. Instead, he strives to become better," she added. "Despite his condition, he goes beyond thinking about himself but also about others."