My name is Chek Ming. I am 46 years old. I want to tell you my story and ask for your help. My life has been a struggle for the past few years but I am consoled as I have a 5-year old son. He is my greatest pride and joy, and also the reason I’m asking for help.
I am a Stage 4 cancer patient (metastatic clear cell ovarian carcinoma) who desperately needs to raise over $139,000 annually to get access to immunotherapy, which is not a subsidised cancer treatment and it is out of reach for subsidised patients like me.
I am also fast running out of time, having endured 2 years of debilitating chemotherapy, using various other cancer drugs, to no avail, having now reached fourth-line treatment stage using the last available drug. Those conventional cancer drugs have failed to stop the rapid spread of the disease from Stage 1c to Stage 4. I am now suffering from incremental and severe stabbing pains in my right chest and arm due to inflamed axillary lymph nodes surrounding the front of my heart and embedded in my chest.
It all happened when I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of ovarian cancer called “Ovarian Clear Cell Carcinoma”, that occurs in only 5% of ovarian cancer sufferers. As such, hardly any research has been done on this type of cancer.
I underwent major surgery on 6th April 2015 to remove a huge 12.5 cm ovarian cyst, my womb, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, cervix, omentum, appendix and 29 lymph nodes when ultrasound scans and CA125 cancer marker blood tests indicated high possibility of ovarian cancer. The diagnosis of ovarian cancer was confirmed when the diseased ovarian cyst was sent to the lab for frozen section.
Subsequently, I started chemotherapy on 21st May 2015, receiving Carboplatin and Paclitaxel chemotherapy for 6 cycles every 3 weeks as my medical oncologist said that it is an aggressive cancer (clear cell type) and is likely to come back despite surgery. At that time, I was told that I had Stage 1c ovarian clear cell cancer – i.e. the cancerous ovarian cyst had been leaking cancerous fluid into the surrounding tissues.
Despite the side effects, I persevered through this chemotherapy in the hope that I can survive to raise my son. I will do anything for him. Being 3 years old at the time, he did not know much. But, he saw me lose my hair, vomit, lying in bed unwell for hours and could not play with him – he could not comprehend or understand the reasons.
I thought it was all over and I can go back to lead a normal life. Then, the unthinkable happened. On the 21st September 2015, my medical oncologist suggested that I undergo another CT scan for a routine check-up after my chemotherapy (immediately after I finished my chemotherapy that same month).
The doctor told me it is now impossible to either operate or cure since the cancer has resurged aggressively to Stage 4 in such a short amount of time. My heart sank. I need more treatments but any treatment now is not curative. The doctor told me any treatment now is merely palliative.
I am a single parent and the sole-breadwinner. Oftentimes, I skip meals in order to save up enough money to feed my son proper meals, as he was born prematurely and underweight. I have met many kind people but the amount of help that I need is more than what my normal acquaintances can help.
I live in a small, barebones, 45-sqm, HDB flat (1 bedroom, 1 hall). I have sold off everything that I can sell, in order to survive month-to-month.
Unfortunately, I have no private health insurance and I am not covered under the CPF Dependent Protection Scheme. Hence, I am thankful to all the NUH Doctors, Nurses, Radiologists, Therapists, Counter Staff, Support Staff and Medical Social Workers for their kindness and support. As a subsidised patient, I am grateful to the Singapore Government and the National University Hospital of Singapore for MediShield Life, the NUH medical assistance fund (for Avastin) and the medical bill subsidy by Medifund, which does not cover all bills.
I hope that your donation would be able to help me to pay for my family’s medical bills; basic necessities; household bills; journeys to/from hospital (because I am unsteady on my feet nowadays due to neuropathy and blood pressure is low); some nutritious fresh foods; bank debts left behind in my name by an abusive estranged spouse (who left the country several years ago and no contact); and daily living expenses, during these dark days, and even more so when my condition deteriorates and require hospice care; coming funeral expenses; and to set aside sufficient cash reserve for my poor mother to sustain herself and enable her to care for my young son when I pass on, as they will be in urgent need in the many years to come. Thank you in advance for all donations.
The cost for immunotherapy treatment amounts to approximately $139,000 a year. The medicine is administered every 3 weeks.
The medicine costs between $6,500 and $8,000 per dose, depending on the type administered. There are usually pre-medications that need to be administered too, prior to each dose of the immunotherapy medicine but I do not know the cost for these pre-medications at this point in time.
My doctor tells me that the 5-year survival rate for this cancer is not good and I am unlikely to survive very long given that this is an aggressive, chemo-resistant cancer and it is now at Stage 4. Yet, I need to survive this fight for my life, for at least another few more years in order to stay with my son. He is just too young to lose his mom.
I am appealing out of desperation as I have exhausted all my social connections and charity appeals. I have sold off anything that is of value in my small flat.
Please help me. Any help, no matter how big or small, will make a big difference to me and my son.
Thank you all kindly.
Besides GIVE, we have received SGD 74,257.50 from other sources.