Founder's sharing :
Some patients have told me how they wished they were given a second chance at life so that they could also engage in some form of charitable work. While sharing this remark with my mentor, I was told of similar wishes made by patients supported by him. Among them was a doctor who regretted not giving help to needy patients.
I wrote the below article with an intention to encourage patients to turn adversity into strength and also to carry out the act of giving if one is serious about it. I reckon no patient should be deprived of the joy of giving. Regardless of the state of one's health, anyone with a sincere heart can give back to the society or help the less fortunate in many ways at anytime.
Turn adversity into strength - It's about giving
Many people tend to lose their grip on life when illness suddenly strikes. Very often, they are caught unprepared and end up disillusioned. It takes time for these people to re-align their goals and priorities in life. For some individuals, adversity has become extraordinary opportunities to convert their lives into a "masterpiece".
I would like to share an incident where a remarkable mother has turned adversity into strength.
Mdm Serene Liang and her husband married for companionship. When Serene found out that she was pregnant in her early forties, she decided to carry on with the pregnancy despite the fact that her husband would leave her. As a single parent, she raised her son with great joy and led an enriching life. Unfortunately, her little boy contracted a serious illness at the tender age of four years old. Undaunted, Serene cherished every moment she had with her son, Liang Yuan Ming. The fateful day came when Serene lost her little boy in December 2002 after battling the illness for four and a half years. Her little boy was so thoughtful that he left a last Christmas present for her - a self-made card with a lovely origami. Until today, Serene feels sad whenever she sees origami.
Both Serene and her son are devout Buddhists, showing great compassion and love for our fellowmen. Her son's organs were donated to save three young lives and gave sight to two blind ladies. Serene is also an organ donor. From a Buddhist's perspective, they are living Buddhas. How many Singaporeans could be so compassionate?
Her new goal in life
Her son did not die in vain. His death has given her a new lease of life by helping her to become a magnanimous soul with a burning desire to help children and see them grow well into their adulthood. Her maternal love shall live on. Likewise, her son's righteous spirit will live on, in the three young lives that he had saved and the two ladies whom he had given a chance to see the world again. We salute this courageous young boy and his remarkable mother!
Her voluntary work
Serene is inspired to help the less fortunate children upon the death of her only son as she could understand the anxiety and pain of parents with sick children. Her sad story and her charitable act was aired over Channel U on 21 June 2003 and in August 2003, and also on TCS 5 - "True courage" on 27 November 2003.
Knowing Serene's burning desire to help children, I got her into a voluntary programme to teach breastfeeding and baby care to new mothers.
Upon reading the plight of a boy who was bedridden from a serious car accident, she went to look for him and gave him free health supplements. The boy's condition improved after taking her health supplements. However, the boy is now being looked after in a nursing home so that the cost could be claimed from insurance.
After her story was aired over the TV, the relative of two siblings who were suffering from a rare form of hereditary disorder, contacted Serene for help. Serene rendered her help until the children's plight were made known to the public in the media in February 2004. Subsequently, the children received medical help from a voluntary body, Tzu Chi Organization, and now on the road to recovery after receiving medical treatment in Taiwan.
In February 2004, she learned Reiki with a noble intention to help the sick. Since then, she has helped some cancer patients with reiki healing.
Taking Serene as a role model, I hope that patients will find strength to cope with their illnesses and re-align their goals and priorities to make the best out of their lives.
The below note of appreciation was received from Ms Chong Y K on 27 June 2004.
I am Ms Chong. Not sure whether you remember me but a couple of months ago, you recommended Serene to perform Reiki healing on my mum who has stage IV breast cancer.
I think overall Reiki has helped my mum to cope with her illness better. Ever since she started on Reiki treatment, she can sleep better and her bowels are fairly regular. She has also stopped relying on painkillers as she does not experience acute pain. The lack of pain is one thing that left the hospice staff puzzled.
It is a pity that my mum decided not to continue with the treatment. She had insisted on "saving" money as she felt that she was already incurring hefty medical bills. I can only respect her wishes. However, I am greatly touched by the kindness of Serene who has made Reiki affordable to me. In the course of treatment, she has also offered me valuable advice on how to take care of my mum. It is people like you and Serene who have made me believe that kind people still exist.
Please do let me know if you or Serene need any help in furthering your cause, be it monetary or not. I may not be able to help much in my current situation but I'll try my best to do whatever I can.
Updated on 28 November 2008 : Sadly, Serene passed away peacefully on 27 November 2008.