Excerpts from Mrs Chan Li Leng ‘s speech –
“On behalf of my fellow myeloma survivors, I thank you for joining us in the celebration of life. Thank you for cheering us on in our journey. Life is precious and we are glad for the days we have. We seize every opportunity to be happy when our days are good. We live for the present and not be afraid of the future.
I quote Theodore Roosevelt-
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. ”
As myeloma survivors we will not live in gray twilight, in as much as we have suffered in our illness, we will also enjoy the good days to the fullest. We seek to live meaningful life and contribute to family and society.“
With a semblance of these words echoing in my head, I started the SG50 Multiple Myeloma charity walk last Saturday. I was moved by Li Leng’s short but very impactful speech, thinking about the journey of cancer patients and in particular all the myeloma survivors who were walking with us on the 5 km Gardens by the Bay trail . I was also feeling pensive thinking about the ageing Singapore and the “grey twilight ” that many more will be facing..the picture did not seem bright.
Slowly my thoughts wandered to the beauty of the urban landcape before me… The connecting bridge, the flyer, the MBS icon, the Esplanade, the glossy gleaming buildings and skyscrapers of the CBD , with every “must have” financial and business logo in a global city…. As Singaporeans we have all viewed this with pride with our own set of lenses sometime or other .
That morning, between the sights and the words quoted by Li Leng – “Far better is it to dare mighty things , to win glorious triumphs., even though checkered by failure” – it came to me that for the last 50 years, Singaporeans must have unwittingly embraced such a philosophy, building and creating the City we now call home. I was heartened and encouraged that so long as people are willing to come together , the walkers, the cyclists, the healthy , the survivors, to support a cause, a mission, just like this charity event , SG50 is just the beginning of another brave new world..
With that thought, I realized the sun was out and it was getting warm. I approached a fellow walker to “talk shop” , feeling more optimism and determined to enjoy this “good day” to the fullest.
We had 220 participants including 15 myeloma patients take in the sights on a walk or cycle around the beautiful Gardens by the Bay.
Minister Khaw Boon Wan flagged us off and also cycled the full circuit. We raised $420,000 for the National University Cancer Institute
for myeloma research