SINGAPORE - One kidney patient obtained two master's degrees while undergoing dialysis.
Another invites China nurses from her dialysis centre to lunch at her home every Chinese New Year, and would make effort to reach the dialysis centre early to encourage other patients.
Mr Arifin Othman, 47, and Ms Joycez Chaong, 42, are among 21 patients who were recognised at the inaugural Life Champion Awards ceremony by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) on Tuesday (Oct 4).
The event was held at the NKF headquarters in Whampoa.
Three categories of awards were presented: Health Champion Awards for patients who actively try to improve their quality of lives through healthy living; Lifelong Learning Awards for those who upgrade themselves and continue learning; and Smile and Encouragement Awards for those who stay positive and encourage others around them.
Ms Chaong, who sells fashion accessories online, won the Smile and Encouragement Award. She said: "Some of these patients tend to get depressed because of their illness and other problems, and I want to cheer them up and encourage them not to give up."
Mr Arifin, a project coordinator at NKF, won the Lifelong Learning Award. "Life is short, so I want to be productive, even when I am on dialysis," he said.
Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin, who was guest of honour, said: "It is encouraging to see kidney patients actively taking steps to develop and improve themselves, take charge of their health, so that they can lead better quality lives.
"Some of them even reach out to help and encourage others despite their own illnesses. I applaud you for doing so."
NKF also launched its new Patient Education Programme, in which nurses train patients one-on-one on self-care topics, such as how to care for their mental health and live an active life. About 400 nurses across NKF's dialysis centres have been trained to conduct these lessons.
Staff nurse Noor Amali Rahmat, one of the nurses trained, said: "It is not just about teaching patients skills, but also building friendships with them.
"Through engaging them, we better understand their concerns and struggles, and know how to help them more effectively."