SINGAPORE - Mr Haris Husain, 76, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in July 2021 and despite going for surgery, his condition deteriorated.
Now terminally ill, his wish has been to go glamping by the sea with his family and create good memories with them.
The NCIS Dream Makers – from the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore – came forward to help him fulfil his dream on Saturday.
The team, led by Dr Chong Wan Qin, a consultant at the institute, organised and paid for Mr Haris and his extended family of 24 to spend the evening at Heritage Chalet in Pasir Ris.
Chicken wings, satay and otah – all of Mr Haris’ favourite foods – were on the menu on Saturday evening. The family, including 16 grandchildren aged three to 24, also did a photoshoot and listened to their favourite tunes.
Speaking to The Sunday Times in a video interview, Mr Haris’ daughter, Ms Suzanah Haris, said the gathering means a lot to her father as the family had not been able to get together often due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“My father was looking forward to seeing everyone together, especially his grandchildren,” said the 50-year-old, with tears welling up in her eyes.
Mr Haris’ dream is the 11th wish that the NCIS Dream Makers have fulfilled. Since 2018, they have worked on about two or three such projects a year.
Dr Chong said the aim is to help terminally ill patients remember that there is life beyond cancer and add positivity to their fight against the disease. “As most wish-granting organisations are focused on helping children, our goal is to fill in the gap and help adult cancer patients achieve their dreams as well.”
In October 2021, NCIS Dream Makers were awarded the Singapore Patient Engagement Initiative Award.
The award recognises outstanding patient engagement projects that contribute to improving the quality of care for patients, caregivers and the community.
At Heritage Chalet, Mr Haris’ family gathered around him as the sun was setting, chatting with one another as they enjoyed their meal. Many were dressed in brightly coloured tie-dye shirts.
Ms Suzanah said her father’s diagnosis had taken the family by surprise as he was an active person who took walks every morning.
She was initially hesitant about going ahead with the glamping get-together as Mr Haris is quite weak and gets tired easily.
“But I thought we should do it and not delay any more because we don’t know how much more time we have with him,” she said.
Seeing the smile on her father’s face, Ms Suzanah has no regrets about her decision.
“This was four months in the making and I really appreciate NCIS Dream Makers for helping us bring my father’s dream to life. He is really happy to experience this with his whole family.”