Generation Grit

Generation Grit: She juggles multiple jobs to support three kids and cancer-stricken husband

Ms Ju-ann Thong has had her share of troubles – at age nine, she found out she was adopted; at 26, she was divorced and had a young son to take care of. She remarried in 2016 but her husband was diagnosed with cancer a year later.
Ms Ju-ann Thong and son Mathias, 12, at home. She is now a mother of three. Daughter Meagan is two and youngest son Mikel is just over a year old.
Ms Ju-ann Thong and son Mathias, 12, at home. She is now a mother of three. Daughter Meagan is two and youngest son Mikel is just over a year old.PHOTO: LIN ZHAOWEI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Last month, Ms Thong, seen here with husband Brian Lim, won the Exemplary Young Mother Award given out by Jamiyah Singapore, a charity. She said she is honoured by the award and is grateful for all the support she has received - even from strangers.
Last month, Ms Thong, seen here with husband Brian Lim, won the Exemplary Young Mother Award given out by Jamiyah Singapore, a charity. She said she is honoured by the award and is grateful for all the support she has received - even from strangers.PHOTO: JU-ANN THONG

Mother of three Ju-ann Thong has braved multiple storms in her life. She accidentally found out she was adopted, had a failed marriage and went through another abusive relationship that left her depressed and in debt. Her second husband brought the light back into her life, but he lost his job and was later diagnosed with a rare cancer. Through it all, she soldiered on - juggling multiple jobs to feed the family - in this series on resilient millennials.

Ms Ju-ann Thong was only around nine years old when she had a bombshell dropped on her during a visit to the doctor.

When her mother went to the toilet, the doctor told her, "Do you know your mummy is not your mummy? You have another mummy."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2018, with the headline 'Mother courage'. Print Edition | Subscribe