On 9 January 2009, the cancer site of Cancerstory.com became dormant.
However, the web contents can still be read like a book without further update.
Biome Issue 04 - More than a site of remembrance

More Than A Site of Remembrance

When her mother passed away despite putting up a brave fight against colon cancer, Ms Lee Soh Hong realized that there was very little information on cancer easily accessible by the public in Singapore.

Driven by a passion to propagate her mother's courage and caring spirit towards other cancer patients, this accountant by training turned her grief into positive energy and started CancerStory.com in September 2000.

Since then, this self-funded, non-profit one-stop online cancer reference centre has evolved to become a rich resource of information on cancer, its possible treatments and real-life accounts of how other families cope with the disease.

Along the way, the website and its founder have picked up quite a few awards and accolades including the Asian Internet Awards 2001 - BOL Readers' Choice Award and the Reader's Digest Inspiring Heroes Awards - Inspiring Singaporean Award. It has also received strong support from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre.

But perhaps of greatest satisfaction to its founder is to see the site actually helping numerous cancer patients by being a source of useful information and a pillar of emotional support.

The website founder strongly advocates adoption of what she calls 'comprehensive cancer care' to complement medical treatments. This includes practicing of qigong, yoga and reiki, improvements in diets and attitude and family support. Though this position diverges from the scientific approach, Soh Hong's end objective - to help cancer patients survive - is the same as a cancer scientist.

"CancerStory began with a sad story, the death of my mother. It was her wish to see a medical breakthrough, a discovery of a cure for cancer," said Soh Hong. "My family and I are trying our best to provide online help to cancer patients and their families until the arrival of this day. When it happens, no tears need to be shed from cancer anymore. CancerStory shall end with a beautiful story."

Straits Times - Small charities fight for bite of the pie
Small charities fight for bite of the pie - APRIL 7, 2004
APRIL 7, 2004 WED

Small charities fight for bite of the pie

Many among the 1,700 charities here try to make do with the few donations they get and a few have had to close down

By Wong Sher Maine

MISS Lee Soh Hong withdrew $45,000 from her savings to set up a non-profit cancer support centre in November 2002.

It all came to naught when the centre at East Point Mall in Simei, called Humanity & Golden Kids, closed down after just one year.

The former accounts manager, 41, who had quit her job to run the centre, said she failed because she could not generate enough publicity for her cause or secure corporate funding.

Comparing the fight for a slice of the charity pie to a fight for survival, she said: 'It's as if all the big non-profit organisations are the top-most leaves of a plant, getting all the sunlight and good things, while the smaller leaves below, small non-profit organisations like mine, struggle and wait for opportunities.'

Although some charities in the big league raise staggering sums of money from the public, there are many among the 1,700 registered charities in Singapore that struggle to make do with the few donations they get.

Some, like Humanity & Golden Kids, close down - 10 quit the scene last year and 14 the year before.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, which administers all registered charities in Singapore, said those that closed down last year comprised six religious groups and four welfare or educational groups. Most had been around for more than 10 years.

Mr Gerard Ee, president of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), an umbrella body for welfare organisations here, said: 'There will always be charities of different sizes that struggle at different periods of time.'

He said competition for funds had heated up with the number of non-profit organisations ballooning from 400 in 1983 to more than 1,700 now.

'Those struggling don't articulate their causes well or don't have clearly defined objectives,' he added.

However, non-profit organisations said the issues they have to grapple with are not having avenues to tell potential donors what they do, not knowing how to run fund-raising campaigns, and not having the right connections.

For instance, a member of a non-profit organisation, who declined to be named, said a fund-raising event involving well-known personalities will raise more money than any flag day.

In the case of The Tent, a welfare home for troubled teenage girls, it is doubtful if it would have raised more than $2 million last year without the help of Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew's daughter, Associate Professor Lee Wei Ling, who offered some of her family's possessions for an auction.

She knew about the home because one of her colleagues helped out there.

Added Ms Lee Soak Mun, 30, an accountant heading an effort to raise $100,000 for the Dover Park Hospice and the Singapore After-Care Association: 'It is difficult for us as we are not offering goodie bags, houses or condominiums to donors. The only attraction is our cause.'

She will lead a group of volunteers, called the Raleigh Society, on a 100km walk in June to raise funds.

Some non-profit organisations have resorted to hiring private companies, which charge a fee, to do the fund-raising for them.

The Association of Fundraisers, which was formed in May last year, and the NCSS also provide training in fund-raising to non-profit organisations.

Even without training, some small charities have found ways to stay afloat.

The Breadline Group, a group of volunteers formed in 1975, gives $50 to $300 a month to nearly 200 needy families. They manage to raise $250,000 every year, mostly through fund-raising events such as auctions organised by expatriate women.

Their selling point?

They point out to donors that 99 per cent of what they raise goes to the poor families.


Does the NKF have enough money? Would you still donate to it, knowing it has $189 million in reserves?
Call 1800-8282828 or e-mail mailto:%20stlocal@sph.com.sg with your views.


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ACCA Focus - ACCA member's initiative leads to opening of new holistic care centre for cancer patients

ACCA member's initiative leads to opening of new holistic care centre for cancer patients

Our member, Lee Soh Hong, honoured upon receiving the Reader's Digest Inspiring Singaporean award and Reader's Digest Everyday Hero, has once again stepped forward to fill the gap in providing complementary cancer methods to cancer patients through a non-profit centre called Humanity & Golden Kids.

In some medical institutions in western countries such as United States and United Kingdom, conventional and complementary cancer treatments have been delivered under one roof. However, complementary cancer methods have not been endorsed by the local cancer institutions/centers. Soh Hong is geared to face an uphill task in advocating safe complementary cancer methods to our local patients. Many of these therapies have been shown to help relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life by lessening the side effects of conventional treatments and providing psychological and physical benefits to the patients.

She founded CancerStory.com in September 2000 in loving memory of her late mother who died of colon cancer in September 1999. CancerStory.com, a non-profit and self-funded web site has helped many local and overseas web surfers in the battle against cancer.

"I feel sorry for cancer patients and their families, forking out large sums to buy the elusive magic bullet that claims to cure cancer. Cancer patients desperate for a cure are vulnerable to extravagant claims and marketing strategies that claim to promise cures."

In response to feedback and requests, she decided to complement the virtual presence of her website with a brick and mortar resource centre called Humanity & Golden Kids. The Centre offers practical assistance and information to help patients and their families, and to educate them to be more careful in their choice of treatment. It also provides safe and beneficial complementary cancer methods. The cost of setting up this non-profit Centre was co-funded by Soh Hong and the National Volunteer Centre through its Volunteer Initiative Grant.

For Soh Hong, her mother's death marked a beginning, not an end. She has devoted her time and effort and used her hard-earned money to help people living with cancer.

"My initiative when setting up CancerStory was to continue my late mother's spirit of caring and sharing. My mother believed that it is a blessing to be able to give and help others."

It is this spirit of caring and sharing that earns the recognition from the Ministry of Education. A write-up on CancerStory.com, commending Soh Hong's altruism was featured in the Secondary One Higher Chinese textbook.

"Many seemingly impossible tasks can be easily accomplished through our compassion and sincerity if only we can create a strong bond among fellowmen. Therefore I hope to encourage all like-minded individuals to join hands in support of volunteerism and humanity, by employing two Chinese characters, namely "tong ren", meaning "bringing people together for a common mission")."

With generous support from Singapore's well-known artist-philosopher and a recipient of the World Economic Forum's Crystal Award Mr Tan Swie Hian, "tong ren", executed in Chinese calligraphy, is displayed at the Centre.

"I hope that members of ACCA can also come forward to give me a helping hand in one way or another to support the mission of Humanity & Golden Kids. "

The Centre also offers yoga lessons to members of the public, in order generate revenue to defray its operating costs.

The Straits Times - Cancer help website moves into real world

Cancer help website moves into real world

By Wong Sher Maine

AFTER Ms Lee Soh Hong pumped $60,000 into setting up a cancer support website three years ago, she found that virtual help alone was not enough.

So the 40-year-old former accounts manager, who had quit her job to work on the website, set aside another $45,000 last year to set up and maintain a cancer support centre.

Called Humanity and Golden Kids, the centre, the size of a one-room flat, sits next to a food court on the fifth floor of East Point Mall in Simei.

'Some people don't have a computer, don't surf the Internet, or don't read English. I was getting requests to set up a physical centre,' said Ms Lee.

Sparsely furnished with books and a mat for therapy sessions, she set it up with help from insurance company NTUC Income and a volunteer initiative grant from the National Volunteer Centre.

It opened in March.

Ms Lee decided to devote herself to helping cancer patients when her 66-year-old mother lost her life to colon cancer in 1999 after a battle lasting more than three years.

Madam Goh Kim Kat, a housewife, remained jolly to the end and often sympathised with other cancer patients, especially children.

When she died, Ms Lee was too depressed to continue working. She took a website design course which sparked cancerstory.com.

'I wanted to continue her spirit of caring and sharing. It's my tribute to my mother,' she said.

For her work on the website, she won two awards from Reader's Digest magazine: an Inspiring Heroes Award for the category of Inspiring Singaporean in November 2001, and an Everyday Heroes Award in March last year.

She advocates traditional Chinese medicine and complementary cancer therapies such as qigong, shiatsu, reiki and yoga. The therapy is customised for cancer patients.

'We are filling a gap in advocating complementary treatment,' said Ms Lee.

At the non-profit centre, all revenue generated goes towards defraying the centre's running costs. But few walk through its doors as those who go know of it only by word-of-mouth or through her public talks.

Since Sars struck, the numbers have slipped further as East Point Mall is next to a hospital, Changi General. But Ms Lee hopes more cancer patients will come on board when her centre is more well established.

'Now I have to be more careful in making ends meet, by leading a simple life,' she said. 'But it's not a sacrifice, it's a choice.'

Retiree Alvin Choo, 52, who had nose cancer in 1995 and a relapse last year, is grateful for Ms Lee's choice.

Since reading cancerstory.com, he has tried reiki therapy and finds it helps him sleep better. He also claims that acupuncture has relieved a pain in his back which started after his tumour removal operation in February last year.

'Through the website I was exposed to all sorts of therapies I wouldn't have known of,' he said.

Agreeing, Ms Joanna Chan, 44, a housewife who had an ovarian tumour removed in May 2001, said: 'I don't know if these therapies work, but it helps me to feel that I'm in control. I am doing something to prevent the cancer from recurring.'

She feels more energetic after taking up qigong.

And, as well as attending a yoga class at Humanity and Golden Kids, she intends to try reiki.

Said Ms Chan: 'It's good that Singapore has such a centre where patients can go and not feel out of place.'


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Reader's Digest - Everyday Heroes : Web of Caring

Web of Caring

Lee Soh Hong waited nervously at the Singapore General Hospital with her brothers and sisters. The 39-year-old accountant's mother had been diagnosed with colon cancer, and now, in January 1996, they were waiting to hear how far it had progressed.

"The tests show that the cancer is in the third stage," the doctor said flatly after he entered the waiting room. Lee's voice cracked as she asked about her mother's prognosis. "She has six to 12 months left," the doctor replied. Lee broke down in tears - her mother, Goh Kim Kat, was the foundation of their family.

Lee quit her job to care full-time for her mother, but struggled to understand how best to help. While the doctors worked hard to fight her mother's cancer, they offered little information about the disease and possible options for treatment. Lee tried the Internet but could find no single website that catered to cancer patients and caregivers in Singapore or elsewhere in Asia.

After surviving much longer than expected, Lee's mother passed away quietly on September 30, 1999, at the age of 66. To try to take her mind off her grief, Lee enrolled in a graduate e-commerce course at the Marketing Institute of Singapore. In March 2000, she decided to create a cancer support website to pay tribute to her mother and to help people like herself desperate to learn more about cancer.

"Information is so valuable to cancer patients, but it can be difficult and confusing to find on the Internet," Lee says. "What I learned about my mother's struggle is that you have to be proactive and take charge of your care."

Enlisting the technical expertise of her brother, Chin Peng, an information technology consultant, she used nearly US$35,000 of her savings to start the site. CancerStory.com was launched on September 18, 2000, one year after her mother's death based on the lunar calendar.

The site allows cancer patients and their caregivers to find basic information, research treatments, communicate with each other and read inspirational stories from cancer survivors. As well, visitors can post questions, which are answered by experts in Singapore and overseas.

CancerStory.com quickly became a hit. It has received about 33,000 visits from around the world, and has over 350 registered users from as far afield as France and South Africa.

CancerStory also has over 100 volunteers who help with fundraising.

Lee won praise from people struggling to come to terms with cancer. "This is a fantastic website," Singapore resident Nora Ng wrote in the site's guestbook. "It will definitely help many people to cope. I'm a cancer survivor and can understand the pain every cancer patient has to go through."

Adds Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who was successfully treated for lymphoma. "Talking about [cancer] helps you to unburden yourself of worries and fears, and allows others to let you know that you are not alone and help is available. CancerStory.com is doing a good job helping Singaporeans to overcome this psychological obstacle."

Says Lee, who still works several hours a day on CancerStory.com while doing freelance accounting work to support herself : "If the site can help people understand and cope with cancer, it is a fitting tribute to my mother." Written by Floyd Whaley

Her World

When mum lost her battle with colon cancer, Soh Hong plunged into grief. But she snapped out of the pain in six months and turned it into strength.

The result: CancerStory.com, a helpsite for cancer patients and their families. The former accountant set it up in memory of her mother Madam Goh Kim Kat, who battled the disease for over three years.

Soh Hong, one of seven children, quit her full-time job to spend time with her mother after the illness was diagnosed. "If people can quit jobs to stay home for their kids, why not for the parents?"

And the years at home were not wasted. Soh Hong researched cancer cures and she shares much of what she learnt on the site, which won notable mention from the likes of Reader's Digest as well as on the Asian Internet Awards last year.

Call it a project of passion, Soh Hong pumped in $80,000 of her own money and roped in her brother and nieces to help. Today, she gets some help with grants from the National Volunteer Centre.

Soh Hong also freelances as a system consultant and helps raise funds for charities.

Sold by her passion, one doctor congratulated her, "This site is not an infatuation, but a love that needs to be preserved." And no doubt, she'll be doing that, in her mum's memory.

Sin Chew Jit Poh (Malaysia)

The Straits Times, Woman spends $60,000 on cancer website
NOV 15, 2001 THU
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Woman spends $60,000 on cancer website

SHE gave up a secure career and spent $60,000 of her savings to help cancer patients.

Ms Lee Soh Hong, 39, quit her job as an accounts manager in September last year to work on her non-profit website, Cancerstory.com, which provides information and support for cancer patients.

For that, she was honoured with the Reader's Digest Inspiring Heroes Award for the category of Inspiring Singaporean.

At an award ceremony held on Tuesday at the Raffles Hotel, where Health Minister Lim Hng Kiang was the guest of honour, Ms Lee, who is a certified accountant, downplayed her achievements.

She said: 'All I wanted to do was to spread the spirit of giving.

'I created the website as a tribute to my mother, who, even when crippled by the illness, gave comfort and encouragement to other cancer patients.'

Her mother, Madam Goh Kim Kat, lost a four-year battle to colon cancer in 1999. She was 66.

Ms Lee wanted something constructive to come out of her grief.

'I decided to learn the HTML computer language and created this website,' said the fourth and only single sibling in a family of seven.

In just over a year, she spent $60,000 to set up the website and run it.

This year, Cancerstory.com received a special grant from the National Volunteer Centre, and also began to run NTUC Income advertisements, both of which Ms Lee is grateful for.

'In these uncertain times, I'm lucky to have their support. I hope it'll help me tide over the recession before I go back into the workforce full-time,' she said.

The Reader's Digest Inspiring Heroes Awards programme was mooted in April this year to honour individuals who go beyond the call of duty in their contributions to society.

The other winners honoured were Inspiring Teacher Anthony Tang, 29, and Inspiring Youths Jasmine Yap, 18, and Jasper Ong, 21.

Mr Tang received a cheque for $1,000 while Ms Yap and Ms Ong got $500 each.

Ms Lee, who received a certificate and a trophy, now gets by on freelance accounting jobs.

She said with a smile and a wave: 'It's okay. I'm single, I live a simple life and I do not own a car.'


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Channel News Asia, Woman sets up cancer website to commemorate mother's death



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Asia Pacific , Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Woman sets up cancer website to commemorate mother's death

Four Singaporeans have been singled out as Reader's Digest's Inspiring Heroes.

Among them is a 39-year-old accounts manager who gave up her S$100,000-a-year job to set up a website for cancer patients and their caregivers.

Lee Soh Hong is thrilled with the award and the success of CancerStory.com, which she launched last year.

But behind the website, is her own sad story.

Her 66-year-old mother lost the battle to colon cancer in 1999, and to keep the memories of her alive, Soh Hong left her full-time job and spent S$60,000 of her own savings to start the website.

She said, "We're now trying to reach out to more cancer patients living in Asia because we believe that the sharing of cancer experiences for people living with cancer is most beneficial and most motivational...

"CancerStory.com will provide online support to people living with cancer and their families."

It has not been easy maintaining the website as most companies are reluctant to fund the project.

Thus Soh Hong has had to take on freelance consulting projects to keep her website going.

She is currently running a fund raiser for the Children's Cancer Foundation, and may start a full-time job soon.


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MITA, Speech by Minister Lim Hng Kiang, at the Reader's Digest Inspiring Heroes Awards

Singapore Government Press Release

Media Division, Ministry of Information and The Arts,

MITA Building, 140 Hill Street, 2nd Storey, Singapore 179369

Tel: 837-9666



Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to join you this afternoon to recognise the Reader抯 Digest Inspiring Heroes Award recipients. This Award was launched by Reader抯 Digest in April this year. It is dedicated to the discovery of extraordinary Singaporeans, who have made a difference helping others and are an inspiration to other Singaporeans.

Ms Lee Soh Hong is the proud recipient of the Reader抯 Digest Inspiring Singaporean award. She is the founder of cancerstory.com, a non-profit website created in honour of her mother who battled cancer. It抯 primary objective is to help other cancer patients and caregivers by providing information and support.

Ms Lee gave up her accounts manager job to look after her mother during her illness. After her mother抯 passing, she started the website and has since committed full time to developing, maintaining and promoting the site. She gave up a steady income for this cause, and has since spent $60,000 of her own money to start up and maintain the site.

Also an active volunteer, she encourages the spirit of volunteerism through the net by encouraging visitors to her site to sign up as Cancer Story volunteers and blood donors. Close to a hundred volunteers have since registered. Together with her volunteers, they helped in fund-raising activities for the Singapore Cancer Society and other institutions in the community. They have raised funds for Dover Park Hospice, as well as Assisi Home and Hospice.

There is a Chinese saying, that heroes are made from adversity. In the wake of the Sep 11 attack, and the current economic downturn, the discovery of inspiring local heroes helps uplift our morale and reinforce our faith in the human spirit.

We have many inspiring examples. When we ran the TV programme "Extraordinary People" some years ago, Singaporeans were touched and inspired. What captured the imagination of Singaporeans was not the money or resources deployed, but the commitment by individuals in the community who were willing to volunteer their time and effort to help others without expecting anything in return.

As emphasised by our Prime Minister at this year抯 National Day Rally, and I quote, "to feel passionately about Singapore is to care about more than just those things that directly affect our families, our friends, and ourselves. It is to be strongly committed to the well-being of our fellow Singaporeans, and to show compassion to those who are weaker than ourselves."

As we build up a core of Singaporeans who feel passionately about Singapore in this way, they would inspire others and Singapore would be the stronger and better place for this. Reader's Digest Inspiring Heroes Award contributes to this process.

Let me now turn to the other recipients.

Our two inspiring youth recipients, Ms Jasmine Yap and Ms Jasper Ong, are recognised today for their commitment to community work. While Jasmine is currently driving a special school project which looks into voice recognition software to boost the morale and learning process of the handicapped students, Jasper helps out regularly at the Singapore Leprosy Relief Association (SILRA) and Tampines Home. Their volunteerism has also reached as far as Cambodia and Thailand.

Encouraging our youths and exposing them to volunteerism will not only help them gain a good perspective in life, but also equip them with good life skills. This is especially important as we face an ageing population and our young will have to play a proactive role to help others.

"He has made a difference ever since he came to the school. He is a role model not only to students but to teachers as well." This is how another teacher described Mr. Anthony Tang, our inspiring teacher award recipient. Mr Tang has always put his students safety and welfare above him, and is always going the extra mile for his students.

Together with Ms. Lee Soh Hong, these heroes have proven themselves to be active participants of the new social compact proposed for Singapore by our Prime Minister, "to help those less able than ourselves".

As we brace ourselves for the tough challenges ahead, this great display of generous spirit and commitment to help others is exactly what we need. And by recognising these heroes, we hope to inspire and encourage more Singaporeans to step forward and make a difference.

While it is true that for every hero who receives an award there are many more who remain unsung heroes in the background, it is equally true that heroes are never enough. Our recipients today are not only heroes but good role models, and we hope more Singaporeans will follow suit.

There is another Chinese saying that opportunities are created by heroes.

All of us can find it within ourselves to be heroes. I quote from Arthur Ashe, "true heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost." If we are prepared to serve, we can all be heroes.

A nation of heroes, whether big or small heroes, would create new linkages, new bonds, new strengths as we strive to build the New Singapore. This is a more enduring way to create a better and more gracious Singapore.


In conclusion, let me congratulate the Reader抯 Digest for organising such a meaningful event. And once again, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to all the inspiring heroes. You have made a difference.

ACCA Focus, Cancer Website Set Up By Local Member


A web site on cancer set up by our local member, Ms Lee Soh Hong, FCCA, was featured in April 2001 of Business and Accounting Journal, Members' Supplement. Since then, Soh Hong's web site has received overwhelming publicity, reaching more web surfers, cancer patients and their families.

"Who cares if you have the greatest web site in the world if no one knows where you are?" With the tremendous support that I received from warm-hearted organizations, media owners and web surfers, CancerStory.com is gradually finding its footing in the Internet arena. I would like for my web site to reach out to as many cancer stricken people and their families as possible so that they will come forward to share their cancer experiences and provide online support to each other from the comfort of their homes at any time." Soh Hong shared.

CancerStory.com is a volunteer's initiative and a member of the National Volunteer Centre. Its primary mission is to host a non-profit site providing online help to people living with cancer and their families. Judging from the positive feedback received through its web site (http://www.cancerstory.com), CancerStory has proven to be beneficial and helpful to cancer patients and their families.

With many keen supporters, CancerStory.com emerged as the winner of BOL Readers' Choice Award 2001 in the recent Asian Internet Awards competition organized by BusinessOnline & Visa.

Soh Hong's effort was also commended in the speech given by Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Singapore 21 Heartbeats In Action Conference on 30 June 2001.

"Individual Singaporeans have also come forward to do their part to improve things for fellow Singaporeans. Some have found from personal experience something lacking in the current scheme of things, and have come forward to fill the gap. Ms Lee Soh Hong, who is being featured at the National Volunteer Centre Fair for example, found when her mother was battling colon cancer that there was very little information on cancer available in Singapore. She started Cancerstory.com, a web site to provide more information on cancer, its possible treatments and give real-life accounts of how families cope with the disease." Excerpts of DPM Lee's speech.

It is also the mission of CancerStory.com to raise funds for local cancer organizations and hospitals. To date, Soh Hong and her volunteers have assisted the Singapore Cancer Society, Assisi Home and Hospice and Dover Park Hospice in their fund raising activities.

If you would like to find out more about CancerStory.com or how you can be a part of this noble cause, visit www.CancerStory.com.

BusinessOnline Magazine, CancerStory.com gives valuable insight into the power of Web communities

compassion : a crowd favourite

A not-for-profit site gives valuable insights
into the power of Web communities.

It doesn't have a business model, it doesn't have major backers, you can't buy anything on it and it isn't a particularly handsome site, but CancerStory.com was the clear winner of the BusinessOnline Readers' Choice award worth S$10,000.

While it is a not-for-profit site, it has some valuable e-business lessons to teach, primarily that the Web is truly viral and is a powerful medium for creating communities of loyal users.

Set up in September 2000 by Singapore siblings, Lee Soh Hong and Lee Chin Peng, CancerStory.com is a reference Web site that tells the story of a layperson's desperate search for a cure when her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer.

It tackles cancer-related issues from a personal perspective, as well as offering its members a vast range of services, information, assistance, facilities and a forum for relaying their individual experiences.

CancerStory.com says its win in the Asian Internet Awards is crucial to the site's continued existence. Chin Peng explains that without the win the site would have been forced to close.

The extra funding will allow the site to operate its 64K leased line for at least another year.

Unlike other awards that were chosen by the panel of 50 judges, the Readers' Choice award relied on winning popular support.

CancerStory.com was the clear winner with 400 votes more than its closest competitor.

Streats - Website inspired by mother's death - Daughter's labour of love

Website inspired by mother's death - Daughter's labour of love


WHEN her mother was stricken by cancer, there was very little Ms Lee Soh Hong could do.

But out of her desperate attempt to understand what her mother went through came cancerstory.com - a non-profit, non-business website which she launched last September.

That labour of love or a "project of passion" as one of her friends described it, won top honours in the readers' choice award category at the BusinessOnline and Visa Asian Internet Awards last Friday.

It garnered an overwhelming 850 votes - 400 votes ahead of the second-place winner.

Ms Lee, 39, was humble about the win, simply saying that she hopes to raise awareness and understanding of the disease.

She knows about cancer first-hand - she left her accounts manager job in 1996 to tend to her mother when she was first diagnosed.

Frustrated by the lack of information, she could only watch helplessly as her mother's colon cancer spread to her lungs and brain.

She sought remedies from far and wide, trawling websites of foreign universities which posted experiment results of possible clinical solutions.

But her mother died three years and eight months later, in September 1999, leaving behind her husband and seven children.

To deal with the death, Ms Lee, who now works as a freelance accountant, dug deeply into her own pockets, coming up with S$60,000 to start the website, with the IT skills of her youngest brother, Lee Chin Peng, 34.

The site offers chatrooms and bulletin boards for cancer victims and their care-givers to share experiences and gain inspiration from survivors.

Cancerstory.com has 12 professionals, mostly doctors, on standby to answer queries. There are links to local hospices, nutrition sites and complementary treatments. Advice on financial planning and will-making is also offered.

"As the name suggests, I wanted to collect all the beautiful stories of how the cancer victims survived to give hope to others to take it as a reference point and live life gracefully and accept death gracefully," said Ms Lee.

Cancerstory.com has some 80 volunteers and receives about 11,000 hits to date, from all over the world.

Ms Lee's friends are telling her to start charging for the online services or pull the plug as they do not want her to go on funding it from her own pocket.

For the moment, the S$10,000 won at the awards has saved it from being shut down.

Ms Lee stands firm by her decision not to charge for the online services, saying : "My mission is to benefit the people who are in the dark about cancer."

"As long as my money achieves that, then it's money well spent."

BOLWeb, Asian Internet Awards - 2001 Winners
Thu, 5 July 2001

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Asian Internet Awards ---2001 winners
BOLWeb - Stuart Washington | 03/07/01
Despite BusinessOnline magazine's focus on business, business and business, it was a not-for-profit Web site called CancerStory.com that became the surprise package at the first BusinessOnline-Visa Asian Internet Awards announced last Friday night.

Winner of the S$10,000 readers’ choice award, the Web site established in September last year offers one of the most precious commodities to cancer patients and the relatives of those suffering from cancer: information.

Singaporean woman Lee Soh Hong, 39, and her brother, Lee Chin Peng, 35, created the Web site (www.cancerstory.com ) in honour of their mother, who suffered from the disease for three years and eight months before dying in September 1999.

So while the big names of the business world made their appearance at the black-tie event, it was the democracy of the Internet that allowed a much smaller enterprise to gain a voice in the ballroom of Hong Kong’s Grand Hyatt Hotel. Unlike other awards that were chosen by a panel of 50 judges, the readers’ choice award relied on gaining popular support.

For CancerStory.com it was a crucial win. Lee’s brother Chin Peng explained that without the win the site - which aims to share information valuable to cancer patients as widely as possible - would have been forced to close. The extra funding will allow the site to operate its 64k leased line for at least another year. Obviously this online enterprise’s burn rate is nowhere near some of its more highly fancied dotcom colleagues, with both sister and brother giving their time freely to the endeavour.

Chin Peng accepted the award to rousing applause in front of 200 or so high-powered guests at the awards ceremony. Among the movers and shakers gathered for the event were Jack Ma, the chief executive officer of Alibaba.com (look out for his article on using the Web effectively in BusinessOnline Asia in August), Alex Kong, CEO of AsiaTravelMart.com; Derek Wong, managing director of Dah Sing Bank and Andrew Yao, the chief executive officer of iSteelAsia.com.

The winners represented best-of-breed online ventures such as Cathay Pacific winning for its business-to-consumer site alongside smaller dotcommers such as Filipino adventure travel company TeamExplore. The winners’ stories will be featured in a special supplement in BusinessOnline in August.

In a fitting twist for an Internet awards, CancerStory.com’s Soh Hong mobilised voters for the award through the Internet, contacting through e-mails various organisations she is associated with including the Marketing Institute of Singapore, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a Buddhist group and her former employer Ernst & Young. The votes she received were a triumph of technology for humanity.

The last word must go to someone who knows how valuable the site is, Singaporean woman Nora Ng : “I really have to salute to the people behind this web site. It will definitely help many people to cope with Cancer. I'm a cancer survivor and can understand the pain every cancer patient has to go through mentally, physically and emotionally. Keep it up!”

Winners, audited by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, were:

Business Services Site:

Propbuzz Property Vertical Portal Web Site (Singapore)

Cross Cultural Site:

asiaxpat.com (Singapore / Hong Kong)

Government Site:

DiscoverHongKong.com (Hong Kong)

Informational Site:

Contact Singapore (Singapore)
New Concept or Technology/New Company Sites:

TeamExplore (Philippines)
Visa Award for the best Business to Business e-commerce site:

ePartner Program - operated by Asiatravelmart.com (Malaysia)

Visa Award for the best Business to Consumer e-commerce site:

Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong)

In addition, judges recognized Lee Jaewoong of Daum Communications for "Most Entrepreneurial Internet Award" and Keiji Tachikawa of NTT DoCoMo was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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EXCERPTS on Speech by DPM Lee Hsien Loong


1. I am very happy to join you this morning for the Singapore 21 Conference.

15. Of course, active citizenship is not only about getting Singaporeans to speak up and debate what the government should do. It is also about getting Singaporeans to actively do something for their fellow Singaporeans, to make a difference to their community and to the nation as a whole. Words must be matched by deeds, and people must commit time and energy to causes which they believe in. After all, Singapore 21 seeks to get Singaporeans to participate actively in the life of the nation. It is about volunteerism, active citizenship and shared responsibility. It is about each one of us individually playing our part as a Singaporean as well as working together as a team.

17. I hope more Singaporeans will "walk the talk", roll up their sleeves and get involved in the community. Through that, they will have a realistic appraisal of the opportunities and the problems, both what can be achieved as well as how much effort is necessary. They will understand that what counts is not just more money or resources, but patient, consistent and committed effort over many years. The work is seldom glamorous. For every volunteer who receives a national award or public recognition, there are many more who remain unsung heroes in the background. But they can derive satisfaction from having helped to improve our society and made a difference in other Singaporeans' lives. More importantly, they can feel a sense of ownership and belonging, that this is a society that they have personally played a part to build and shape.

20. Individual Singaporeans have also come forward to do their part to improve things for fellow Singaporeans. Some have found from personal experience something lacking in the current scheme of things, and have come forward to fill the gap. Ms Lee Soh Hong, who is being featured at the National Volunteer Centre Fair for example, found, when her mother was battling colon cancer, that there was very little information on cancer available in Singapore. She started Cancerstory.com, a website to provide more information on cancer, its possible treatments and give real-life accounts of how families cope with the disease.

22. This trend is encouraging, but represents only a modest beginning. I am sure that many more Singaporeans can be persuaded to come forward to contribute their ideas, time and energy, if we can find the right way to reach out to them, and persuade them that their effort will make a difference. We must motivate every citizen to play his part as a Singaporean, as well as work with others to make Singapore our best home. Many drops make an ocean, and every drop counts. In the same way, every individual contribution, however small, adds up. This is what the Singapore 21 vision is about.

***** Source : Singapore Government Press Release, Media Division, MITA

Lianhe Zaobao























National Volunteer Centre e-newsletter, Dot.com with a Difference!

Dot.com with a Difference !

We hear of dot.coms being set up all the time, although with less frequency these days. Meet Ms Lee Soh Hong, founder of a dot.com with a difference.

A n accountant by profession, she gave up her assignment and came up with her own money to launch an online resource to help cancer patients and their loved ones better understand and talk about this deadly killer. Having a member in the family suffering from cancer is a traumatic experience for anyone. Soh Hong should know. Her mother was taken away from the joys of life by cancer on 30 September 1999. In memory of her beloved mother, Soh Hong launched her non-profit site, Cancerstory.com on her mother's first death anniversary.

On her own initiative and at her own expense of S$60,000, she laboured to put together a comprehensive website where one can find a list of services such as details on cancer support groups, sources of free transportation and financial assistance, list of hospitals, hospices and cancer organizations, tips on self-examination, and information on both conventional and complementary treatments. The website is also linked to key sites that facilitate extended information on the illness.

Still considered a sensitive subject which cancer-stricken people and their loved ones are uncomfortable with speaking about openly, the website provides interactive discourses on how to deal with the illness. A panel of 10 professionals rally together to help answer queries online. The site also carries testimonies of cancer sufferers, survivors and their families. Hence, anyone from all walks of life can share their painful experiences and be assured of anonymity. In fact, Soh Hong hopes to collate the stories shared and one day, publish a book on them.

The process of putting up such a comprehensive website has not been easy as Soh Hong can attest. To maintain the site through the course of a year would need another $50,000. In the course of getting support for her efforts, she ran into many walls of rejection and silence. Feelings of frustrations, disillusionment and sadness were inevitable. Yet, despite all the difficulties, she was undeterred.

"Only upon my mother's death, did I change my perspective of life and was inspired to continue helping the less fortunate. This is an awakening that I would like to share with everybody. Therefore, setting up CancerStory.com to provide an additional avenue for cancer-stricken people and their families to find paths to healing is my first step towards involvement in community activity. One of my friends describes CancerStory.com as a Project of PASSION." Soh Hong shared.

Soh Hong would like her website to reach out to as many cancer-stricken people and their families as possible so that they will come forward to share their cancer experiences and provide online support to one another from the comfort of their homes at any time. Soh Hong has also been inspired to build a team of CancerStory volunteers with the mission of helping out in fund raising programmes organized by Singapore Cancer Society or any other cancer organizations.

Todate, CancerStory.com has 133 members who are both cancer-stricken people and care-givers. The website has also received approximately 9300 hits from various countries including, America, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

* * * *

ACCA Accounting & Business Journal, Singapore Member sets up website on cancer

Singapore member sets up website on cancer
Ms Lee Soh Hong, FCCA explains how she is exploiting
the latest technology in memory of her late mother

"During the current Internet boom, whilst most people were acquiring IT and e-commerce knowledge to enhance their marketability and competitiveness in the commercial world, I signed up for a Graduate Diploma Course in e-commerce marketing to occupy my thoughts while coping with the loss of my beloved mother, Mdm Goh Kim Kat. I won a gold medal for passing the diploma course and, with my newly acquired knowledge of e-commerce, I set up CancerStory.com to host a non-profit and innovative reference cancer website. The site serves as a guide to the technology, which can empower ordinary people who want to help themselves, a friend, family member or loved one threatened by cancer. It is a comprehensive site where web surfers can obtain cancer information, relevant help as well as moral support so that they will not feel helpless and alone while living with cancer, the number one killer in Singapore, as well as many other parts of the world.

CancerStory.com is a project of passion that carries on my late mother's spirit to help the less fortunate. It was officially launched on 18 September 2000 to mark the first anniversary (21st of the eighth lunar month) of my mother's death. To date, the website has received approximately 8,500 hits from countries including, America, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

Very often there is a limit on what medical science can offer to cancer patients. Based on interaction with cancer survivors, one will realise that they survive cancer in their own unique way. I encourage cancer stricken people and their families living in the various countries to come forward to share their cancer experiences, especially on complementary treatments that offer potential benefits in coping with cancer. Such exchanges are beneficial to cancer sufferers, offering hope and the knowledge that they are not alone living with cancer.

Anyone who is in need of cancer support, and is feeling stressed, can also learn simple meditation and relaxation exercises from the website and its extension site located at www.cancerstory.com/heartstory. "

Marketing Institute of Singapore (The Singapore Marketer), CancerStory.com

Our gold medalist of the first intake of Graduate Diploma Course in E-Commerce Marketing(GDEM) has an important message to share with her fellow members at the Marketing Institute of Singapore.

"GDEM course has provided me with the opportunity to learn about E-Commerce and with this newly acquired knowledge, I am able to set up a meaningful and beneficial web site for people living with Cancer, taking my first bold move into volunteerism." Soh Hong shared.

CancerStory.com is a volunteer's initiative which was registered in May 2000 to host a non-profit and innovative reference cancer web site located at http://www.cancerstory.com. It serves as a guide to the technology, empowering ordinary people who want to help themselves, a friend, family member or loved one threatened by cancer. It is a comprehensive site which web surfers can get cancer information, relevant help as well as moral support that they need so that they will not feel helpless and alone while living with cancer, the Number 1 killer in Singapore, as well as many parts of the world. Many web surfers have provided favourable feedback on CancerStory.com.

Soh Hong's first initiative was to set up CancerStory.com as a non-profit site with funding from her family and co-sponsors. In the course of seeking for co-sponsorships, she ran into many rejections and silence. She was disappointed but undeterred. With her own money, time and efforts, she finally delivered CancerStory.com, a project of passion that carries on her late mother's spirit of caring and giving. It was officially launched on 18 September 2000 to mark the first death anniversary (21st of 8th lunar month) of her beloved mother. To date, the web site has received approximately 8,800 hits from countries including, America, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom and Vietnam.

Owing to financial constraints, Soh Hong has no budget for publicity programmes and relies solely on free publicity given by warm-hearted media owners and informal grapevines. To date, CancerStory.com has been featured in the following media :

  • Channel News Asia - A minute on the dot
  • TCS 8 - Good morning, Singapore & News Today
  • The Straits Times
  • Lianhe Zaobao
  • Radio FM98.5 (Uncommon Sense)
  • Ernst & Young Newsletter
  • Eye2Eye Magazine
  • SingNet Newsletter

Soon, you can also read about CancerStory.com from the ACCA Accounting & Business Journal and the electronic newsletter of National Volunteer Centre.

Soh Hong would like for her web site to benefit as many cancer patients as possible. "Despite our moderate success, our attempts to reach out to more cancer-stricken people and their families have been an uphill task because we have refused to succumb to commercialization of our web site. We hope that CancerStory.com which has been nominated for the Asian Internet Awards 2001 will receive good support from web surfers. If CancerStory.com is able to make it to be one of the finalists, it will surely help to raise the awareness of CancerStory.com among people living in Asia." Soh Hong shared.

Very often, there is a limit on what medical science can offer to cancer patients. Based on interaction with cancer survivors, one will realize that they survive cancer in their own unique way. Therefore, Soh Hong encourages cancer stricken people and their families living in the various countries to come forward to share their cancer experiences, especially on complementary treatments that are beneficial and promising in coping with Cancer. Such exchanges and testimonies are beneficial to cancer stricken people. At least there is hope and they are not alone living with cancer. Many cancer patients have found it useful to seek support from others who are going through the same experience.

Material life cannot bring eternal and true happiness. Sharing and helping others to overcome hardship and suffering will provide invaluable experience in life and set the path to true happiness and establish your purpose of life. If you share our mission and have time to spare, do join as CancerStory volunteers and blood donors. Please recommend CancerStory.com web site to anyone who is in need of cancer support. If you are feeling stressed, you can also learn simple meditation and relaxation exercises from the web site and its extension site located at http://www.cancerstory.com/heartstory.

The Straits Times, Mother inspired support website
  The Straits Times Interactive

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Mother inspired support website

FOR 38-year-old Lee Soh Hong, bereavement came with a strong sense of mission - sharing knowledge and information about cancer on her website, www.cancerstory.com.

Miss Lee lost her mother to cancer in September 1999. A year later, she has launched Cancerstory.com as a non-profit website giving support to cancer patients and their care-givers.

Its 81 members and visitors can share stories in the forum and chatrooms and get information and links on nutrition, financial planning, hospice care and complementary treatment.

'Cancerstory.com pays tribute to my mother's spirit of sharing. Despite her illness, she remained positive and shared her experiences with fellow patients,' said the accountant.

Miss Lee's mother, Madam Goh Kim Kat, was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 1996. Over the next three years, the disease spread to her lungs, bones and, eventually, her left brain.

She took time off work after her mother's death, which she spent reading and doing a diploma course in e-commerce marketing.

She then roped in her family to create the site in her mother's memory.

'I hope that, through Cancerstory.com, we can help cancer patients and their families cope better. We may even find ways to 'conquer' the disease,' she said.

She funds the site on her own. Behind her are 55 volunteers she recruited through friends, newsgroups and the website.

The first offline project will be its Tai-Chi Chuan Support Group, where Miss Lee and 12 volunteers teach cancer patients the exercise to improve their health.


Copyright 2000 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.  Privacy Statement   Conditions of Access   

eye 2 eye magazine, This Cancer Story Needs More Writers
:: net-working ::  

In memorium

http://www.cancerstory.com/ is a website set up by Lee Soh Hong, with the help and support of her family, in memory of her late mother, Mdm Goh Kim Kat, who died of colon cancer last September.

Finding it difficult to cope with the loss, Ms Lee was inspired by her mother's spirit of caring to develop this website as a means for cancer patients and their families to learn, share and deal with cancer.

Having experienced, first hand, the loss of having someone close die from cancer, Ms Lee packs many informative sections into her site that one might otherwise not think of. For instance, there are sections on making a will and obtaining financial aid and advice for the costly treatment of cancer. It has a forum page and chat section to facilitate communication between cancer patients. The site also offers the services of two counsellors for those who need someone to talk to.

Writing the story

Officially launched on Sep 18 this year (to mark the first anniversary of Mdm Goh's passing), the site is very comprehensively subdivided. It is currently lacking in real life stories of cancer sufferers. It is Ms Lee's hope that this will improve over time, when more people visit the site and when visitors feel ready to contribute their own stories to the page.

Certainly, what this site needs right now are more visitors and contributors. After all, the story behind CancerStory is the sharing of personal experience. For survivors of cancer (patients or family members), it is also about providing motivational support for those who are living with cancer.

Continuing the story

While the site owners did initially try to set up a non-profit site under the auspices of co-sponsors, they found that the nature of the site's topic was often a deterrent to the cause. As such, Ms Lee and her supporters have decided to go out on their own. They believe, too, that maintaining their independence from other organisations will allow them to give an unbiased and alternative link to information on conventional cancer treatment as well as complementary treatments.

This does mean that they have had to set up an e-commerce section to fund the maintenance of the site. Currently available online is ThymuSkin shampoo and hair treatment, which help prevent hair loss and encourage re-growth. The site is also linked with

OneKnowledge Pte Ltd through an affiliate programme. This means that a percentage of purchases from OneKnowledge will go to CancerStory (when indicated by the buyer).

CancerStory's project is certainly ambitious, but its heart is in the right place. Based on her experience, Ms Lee believes it is one that can bring much comfort and emotional relief to cancer victims and survivors. For this website to succeed, it needs other 'writers' to emerge and share their stories. It may not be very Singaporean to speak of our personal problems, but one thing the Net has allowed us to do is preserve our anonymity while expressing our feelings. Get online now and start the sharing.

Current and Future Projects

Blood donations - Sign up with Cancer-Story.com's blood donation drive and you'll not be misled by bogus emailed blood requests again. The site owners check every request they receive for authenticity before passing the request on to members.

HeartStory - Initially a project for her Grad Dip in e-commerce Marketing, Ms Lee is now using HeartStory (www.cancerstory.com/servlets/HeartStory/index.jsp) to promote aware-ness of heart diseases, a problem her father suffers from.

Taiji Quan support group - Ms Lee is currently recruiting volunteers to learn then teach basic Taiji Quan movements to cancer patients as a means of relaxation and an opportunity to socialise.

Book sharing - CancerStory.com encourages sharing of book resources among cancer patients. It functions as a link between two parties and is appealing for more book exchanges.

Massage therapy - Ms Lee is trying to promote the traditional Chinese medical practice of Massage Therapy for babies as a means of strengthening their immune system. She is currently looking for a sponsor to provide a venue for a talk by a qualified Chinese physician.

Chinese version - Subject to the availability of funds and the response to her English site, Ms Lee may establish a Chinese version of the site, so as to reach more people.

Endowment fund - Should the site generate sufficient revenue, Ms Lee hopes to set up an endowment fund in memory of her mother, which will be used to help needy young cancer patients.

Channel News Asia - Byte Sites, CancerStory
This week's focus:
Executive Health

Week beginning 6 November 2000


Created in the memory of her late mother, Lee Soh Hong's attempt to help others cope with the disease which cost her mother's life, is a commendable one. Unabashedly personal, CancerStory is filled with numerous references to her mother and her fight against the disease. Lee admits herself that the site tells "the story of a layperson's desperate search for a cure when her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer".


And it was through this journey that she felt the need to help cancer patients and their families face the uphill battle of seeking the best treatment, gathering information and finding support. Thus CancerStory.com was born, with the aim to serve as a guide to empowering ordinary people who want to help themselves, a friend, a family member or loved one threatened by the disease.

CancerStory has succeeded in fulfilling its aim. It offers a forum where you can pose cancer-related questions to CancerStory's panel of invited guests, which range from a Buddhist Venerable to oncologists, to specialists of Traditional Chinese Medicine and macrobiotics. It also has a chat room where you can interact with cancer survivors, exchange experiences and draw strength and inspiration from them. Video and audio clips are also available on how to deal with cancer.

Providing help on all issues concerning dealing with cancer, CancerStory also has sections on finances and legal issues like will and estate.

And to fund the maintenance of the site, CancerStory also has an e-commerce function. Some of the products on offer are hair products and wigs. It also has an affiliate programme with OneKnowledge.com to sell books on cancer. Apart from that, you can also read some books online and contribute by sharing books with others.

Most importantly, CancerStory takes you through the various stages that most cancer patients will experience, from the initial diagnosis to surviving the disease and even hospice care. Cancer patients and their families and friends can take heart that there's such a place to find support and solace in their dark moments. - Editor


* Graphics used are from CancerStory.com.


Channel NewsAsia wants you to email us if you know of any informative and interesting web sites with an Asian focus, tell us why; and if we use it, you'll receive a Channel NewsAsia goodie bag. Please include your name, address and contact number in your email so that we can inform you where to pick up your goodie. Channel NewsAsia regrets to inform contributors that goodies have to be picked up from Caldecott Broadcast Centre in Singapore.


Ernst & Young newsletter, CancerStory

n online resource to help cancer patients and their loved ones has recently been set up in Singapore.

Created by Lee Soh Hong (an EY alumnus), the site is a tribute to her late mother who battled with colon cancer for more than three years. At the site, you can find a list of services such as details on counsellors, sources of free transportation and financial assistance, lists of hospitals and cancer organisations, tips on self-examination, and information on both conventional and complementary treatment. There are also many tips on how to deal with the disease and testimonies of both cancer sufferers and survivors. Go to www.cancerstory.com to find out more.

SingTel i-News, Cancer awareness gets a special boost!
SingTel Magix
22 September 2000

Cancer awareness gets a special boost!

An innovative reference site for cancer patients and their families to find paths to healing.

Lianhe Zaobao

logo 新闻: IT 21/09/2000













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