“The Big C.”
It could be any of these words:
Courageous. Clever. Competitive. Confident. Curious. Capable. Cancer.
Cancer is a disease that doesn’t take into consideration one’s race, background, or occupation. It just makes an unwelcome visit. However for these 5 Malaysians who have conquered cancer, these remarkable individuals certainly did not allow it to ruin their second chance.
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They are authors, marathon runners, entrepreneurs, artists and everyday people who have conquered cancer and refuelled their life with more passion and success than ever before. If they can do it in spite of the cards they are dealt, who’s to say what is stopping anybody else from thriving and achieving in life?
1. Poesy Liang
Poesy Liang wears many hats, from being the principal designer and owner at Poez Jewellers, to being an artist at Poesy’s Art Studio, and also the founder of Helping Angels 善行天使.
When she was younger, she had acute thoracic intradural meningioma, a rare type of spinal cord cancer, and was once paralysed from the waist down. Even after the removal of some of the tumours, her legs and movement would not return to normal again. She cannot run or walk normally and her right leg is unable to sense temperature. Despite that, she beat all odds to not only survive but also went on to juggle many different entities and carve her own sense of success in life.
2. Melvin Tong
A soft tissue cancer which led to a limb amputation when he was only 17 did not slow Melvin’s life down one bit. If anything, he pushed the boundaries on what a cancer survivor’s life should look like.
The entrepreneur and speaker coloured his life by climbing Mount Kinabalu and the Everest Base Camp, skiing for the very first time, developing an online publication for computer hardware news, and achieving a degree in e-commerce. Melvin also started a property and car-sharing business called MLUX which helps owners increase their rental yield from their assets.
3. Choo Mei Sze
At 27, it is hard to imagine having cancer, but that was when Mei Sze was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in June 2014. At that point in her life, she was a host, finalising her thesis, and had a supportive network of friends and family surrounding her. The big C was a rude awakening for her.
She went on to battle against cancer and is now even a crusader for those who are also fighting against the same disease. Mei Sze was even recently appointed as the First Youth Ambassador for the National Cancer Society Malaysia. This multi-talented survivor is now an emcee, speaker, columnist, model, and a spokesperson for various brands.
4. Frank Chong
Frank Chong is the Malaysian Ambassador at Comrades Marathon Association and a Community Champion at Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation. While some might have found it easy to up and run away from everything upon knowing that they are struck by the illness, Frank found strength to run for it instead.
At 12, Frank was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that affected the muscles and connective tissues in his left wrist. He had to undergo a bone marrow extraction, radiotherapy, chemotherapy—it was a very painful journey. Ever since conquering it, Frank has been running and raising money for charities such as Cancer Research Malaysia. His investment in fighting for funds to help others is inspiring, and his lifestyle should motivate us all to live healthily.
5. Patsy Kam
Patsy Kam is a journalist who battled against a rare form of cancer known as paraganglioma. She went on to write a book entitled: I Am A Zebra!: Making Sense Of A Rare Disorder.
The book was able to raise awareness on the disease and it chronicled her honest journey, with words like: “Sometimes, I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle. It’s like watching a cartoon on TV: you whack one lump, another one sprouts almost immediately. I tell myself, this will be my last surgery. But it’s never quite the last, it seems.” Patsy is currently a columnist of local newspaper, The Star, and she hopes that her book will spur more research towards finding a cure for this rare disease.
These 5 individuals had a common enemy which was cancer. However, upon bravely conquering it, they demonstrated that there are simply no boundaries to human limits. Their courage and perseverance to turn their illness into inspiring moments is highly commendable!
A Plan That’s RM1.50/Day
Yet one thing which is evident is that cancer knows no age and it hits without warning. According to the Asean Costs in Oncology (ACTION) study from the George Institute of Global Health, 50% of cancer patients will become financially broke within a year after diagnosis. The high cost of the drugs, consultation fees, reduction in work productivity and mental distress all contribute to a situation where financial ruin is one of the outcomes even as they press on and battle to survive.
We know that health insurance can and should help carry the burden of medical costs but there are contrasting opinions on whether insurance is a luxury or a necessity. The perceived high fees of the insurance plans is one of the things that holds people back from getting it, as they think they cannot afford it—which is why it helps when there is a cancer insurance plan that only costs RM1.50 a day.
The aforementioned plan is the AXA 200 CancerCare policy.
The policy provides cancer protection features, like financial support of up to 200% Cancer Sum Insured, and guaranteed premium fixed for 20 years, which means you won’t be forced to pay extra for your insurance plan after several years.
What’s more, with access to AXA Care Benefit, you can get full support and assistance via a 24/7 concierge services arrangement, psychological and dietary consultation, hair and wig care services, transport arrangements, and even access to regular insightful cancer prevention knowledge and expert advice.
As an extra perk, if you head on over to their website and fill out a simple from, you immediately get a 40% discount on your first month KFit subscription and Free Health Screening Voucher worth RM 299. It takes less than 5 minutes and doesn’t come with any obligations, so no harm giving it a go.
As the National Cancer Society Malaysia discloses how 1 in 4 people in Malaysia will develop cancer, and all by the time one reaches the age of 75, it makes sense to take the necessary precautions and to make time for loved ones as that is what truly matters.