GenerationGrit

Fresh shot at life spurs cancer survivor to be national archer

Keller Chai, 21, went through rounds of chemotherapy after she was diagnosed with leukaemia at six years old. Her life changed when she picked up archery while studying in a polytechnic.
In primary school, Keller Chai's hair fell out as a result of chemotherapy treatments. She would wear a bandana to school and sometimes, her classmates would tease her.
In primary school, Keller Chai's hair fell out as a result of chemotherapy treatments. She would wear a bandana to school and sometimes, her classmates would tease her.PHOTO: COURTESY OF KELLER CHAI
Miss Keller Chai, a childhood cancer survivor, picked up archery four years ago when she was studying at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. She has participated in national archery competitions and regional contests such as the Asian Games Invitational Tournament
Miss Keller Chai, a childhood cancer survivor, picked up archery four years ago when she was studying at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. She has participated in national archery competitions and regional contests such as the Asian Games Invitational Tournament.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Keller Chai, 21, spent a good part of her childhood in hospital after being diagnosed with leukaemia. Weak and sickly for many years, she decided four years ago that she would no longer be held back by her illness. The national archer tells The Straits Times about her journey from "the bottom".

If anyone had told Miss Keller Chai's younger self that she would one day be a national athlete, she would have laughed it off.

The childhood cancer survivor, now 21, has never taken a physical education class in her life, but she is now a national archer.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2018, with the headline 'Fresh shot at life spurs cancer survivor to be national archer'. Print Edition | Subscribe