Living with dementia

'Love has no boundaries'

Steven and Lai Quen on a study trip to Taiwan last November, along with five others with dementia and their caregivers. The trip was organised by the Alzheimer's Disease Association and the Lien Foundation. Steven leading a toast at dinner during the
Mr Steven Lau, who was studying accountancy, and Ms Wong Lai Quen, who was majoring in chemistry, met at a hostel cafeteria in the late 1970s when they were undergraduates. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF THE LAU FAMILY
Steven and Lai Quen on a study trip to Taiwan last November, along with five others with dementia and their caregivers. The trip was organised by the Alzheimer’s Disease Association and the Lien Foundation.
Steven and Lai Quen on a study trip to Taiwan last November, along with five others with dementia and their caregivers. The trip was organised by the Alzheimer’s Disease Association and the Lien Foundation. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Steven and Lai Quen on a study trip to Taiwan last November, along with five others with dementia and their caregivers. The trip was organised by the Alzheimer's Disease Association and the Lien Foundation. Steven leading a toast at dinner during the
Steven leading a toast at dinner during the study trip to Taipei last November. Now 63, he was diagnosed with dementia at age 58. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Steven and Lai Quen on a study trip to Taiwan last November, along with five others with dementia and their caregivers. The trip was organised by the Alzheimer's Disease Association and the Lien Foundation. Steven leading a toast at dinner during the
Text messages between Lai Quen and Steven. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Steven and Lai Quen on a study trip to Taiwan last November, along with five others with dementia and their caregivers. The trip was organised by the Alzheimer's Disease Association and the Lien Foundation. Steven leading a toast at dinner during the
Lai Quen waiting for Steven to catch up during their trip to Taipei last year. The trip showed them how the Taiwanese juggle between supporting their loved ones with dementia and respecting their voice by empowering them to do dementia advocacy work. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

How an ordinary couple met and fell in love - and how dementia tested their relationship

She was that quiet first-year student having a late lunch in the cafeteria of the Dunearn Road Hostel for undergraduates at the University of Singapore.

Lai Quen was a chemistry major, and her lab lessons often ended late, so she would eat at about 3pm when the canteen was largely empty.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 24, 2020, with the headline ''Love has no boundaries''. Print Edition | Subscribe