Loss of grandpa to cancer spurs youth to help others

When he was a student at ITE College Central last year, Mr Aloysius Moh, now 19, rallied his friends and organised a bone marrow donation drive. Within two days, the campaign recruited 234 donors. Yesterday, Mr Moh was one of the 182 young people who
When he was a student at ITE College Central last year, Mr Aloysius Moh, now 19, rallied his friends and organised a bone marrow donation drive. Within two days, the campaign recruited 234 donors. Yesterday, Mr Moh was one of the 182 young people who received the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) gold award for their outstanding leadership and contributions to society.PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

After the loss of his grandfather to lung cancer in 2015, Mr Aloysius Moh wanted to find a way to help people with chronic illnesses.

"This feeling of not wanting others to go through the same thing I went through triggered something in me. I wanted to help people battle chronic illnesses," said the 19-year-old.

Last year, Mr Moh, who was then a student at ITE College Central, rallied his friends to start a campaign to raise awareness of bone marrow diseases. They went from classroom to classroom to tell their peers and teachers more about the diseases and organised a bone marrow donation drive in school, with the help of the Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP).

Within two days, the campaign recruited 234 bone marrow donors. The BMDP usually gets an average of 50 sign-ups a day at roadshows.

The success spurred Mr Moh to continue to do good. "When someone does good, it forms a ripple. We should continue the good deeds and let ripples become waves," said Mr Moh, now a first-year aeronautical engineering student at Singapore Polytechnic.

Yesterday, he was one of the 182 young people who received the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) gold award for their outstanding leadership and contributions to society.

The ceremony at Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre was graced by President Halimah Yacob and hosted by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance and chairman of the NYAA Advisory Board.

 

Speaking to the youth, Mr Heng said: "This gold award is an outward manifestation of something far more valuable than any precious metal - the fact that you have a wish to reach for your best, the heart to make a difference to others, and the guts to push yourself through challenges. Here, gold is a symbol for the value of your commitment, sincerity, determination, and service."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2018, with the headline 'Loss of grandpa to cancer spurs youth to help others'. Print Edition | Subscribe