More help committed to cancer society to support patients and families

Medical oncology practice Icon SOC will commit both financial and volunteer support for the Singapore Cancer Society's programmes under a new memorandum of understanding signed on Dec 4, 2017.
Medical oncology practice Icon SOC will commit both financial and volunteer support for the Singapore Cancer Society's programmes under a new memorandum of understanding signed on Dec 4, 2017.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SINGAPORE CANCER SOCIETY

SINGAPORE - Cancer took her son in 2013 when he was 39 years old.

Three years later, in 2016, Madam Kamsiah Othman, 63, was diagnosed with stage three endometrial cancer. Less than a month after her diagnosis, she received more bad news - her husband, Mr Sulaiman Abdul Rahman, 69, had stage three lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes.

Madam Kamsiah recalls feeling "depressed", afraid and uncertain of her future.

She said: "At the time, we had no jobs, and did not know what we should do."

"I felt like I had lost everything, I felt hopeless and just gave up and did not feel like doing anything."

Though dealt a triple whammy, the couple somehow pulled through and are both now in remission.

She cites the Singapore Cancer Society as having been a great source of help over the past two years, and continues to be so, even after their treatments have been completed.

On Monday (Dec 4), she also received a hamper of goodies and basic necessities at her home from Icon SOC, a medical oncology practice, and Singapore Cancer Society (SCS). Representatives of both organisations had come knocking on her door for the cancer society's Festive Cheer with a Heart programme for patients.

The visit also followed the signing of a three-year memorandum of understanding between SCS and Icon SOC.

As part of this partnership, Icon SOC will commit both financial and volunteer support for SCS' programmes.

According to Mr Stuart Giles, co-founder and chairman of Icon Group and Icon Group Asia, Icon SOC will commit a quarter of a million dollars over three years, and will also be contributing staff and support to SCS's events and activities.

Icon SOC has six clinics and a regional office in Singapore.

Together, the two groups hope to minimise the impact of cancer through research and advocacy, public education, financial assistance, patient services and support, and rehabilitation.

The SCS's website says 35 people are diagnosed with cancer every day in Singapore. As of 2016, it is the leading cause of death here, according to the Ministry of Health.

Mr Giles said: "The true challenge for patients actually comes after the treatment, and with this collaboration, we hope to be able to support patients not just during treatment but throughout their journey of recovery - both in terms of finance but also in ensuring that they are aware that there is somewhere and someone they can come to."