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Hui Min:"Your value doesn't decrease just because you are diagnosed with cancer"

Learning of a cancer diagnosis is difficult for anyone—even more so for young adults who are in their prime. Hui Min, now 19 years old, was 15 years old when she was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer). A near-fall triggered a lingering pain in her left knee, and she was then diagnosed to have osteosarcoma.

During her cancer journey, support came from all the people around her, encouraging her to move forward even in times of difficulties. “My family was there for me throughout…we cried and laughed together, they would hold my hand when I’m not feeling well or in pain. My doctors kept encouraging me when I am down, inspiring me with their passion for healthcare. My physiotherapist shared many tears with me. We met when I was still wheelchair-bound, to using 1 crutch, to lifting 10 pounds with my left leg and later on, 25 pounds. I cried with joy when I managed to lift 25 pounds last month!”

Following her cancer treatment at NCCS, Hui Min is now in remission and is pursuing her Diploma in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Nanyang Polytechnic. Looking back, Hui Min urges families, friends and people around young cancer patients to keep them updated of happenings, so that they will still feel a sense of belonging to their school or company even as they are undergoing treatment. To those who have just learned of their cancer diagnosis, Hui Min has some words of encouragement:

“It’s not going to be easy. You might have to take a break from work or school just to focus on your recovery. Know that it is going to make you a stronger person and you will never be able to forget your cancer journey! Life is fragile, start loving those around you and don't push away those who love you. Your value doesn't decrease just because you are diagnosed with cancer. You are beautiful… you are loved.”

To improve better care for our young cancer patients, NCCS has launched an Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology (AYAO) support group, supporting patients between 16 and 39 years old at their cancer diagnosis. To find out more, click here.

To find out more about our cancer specialists, click here


Q: How do you think the community can support Adolescent & Young Adults (AYA) patients?

Hui Min (HM): The community can support AYA patients by being more considerate and caring. They could be more aware of their actions, e.g. not stare at patients just because they are bald and look pale!


Q: In what ways did you feel supported?

HM: My family were there for me  throughout my cancer journey. We cried and laughed together, they would hold my hand when I'm not feeling well or in pain. My doctors kept encouraging me when I am down, inspiring me with their passion for healthcare. My physiotherapist shared many tears with me. We met when I was still wheelchair-bound, to using 1 crutch, to lifting 10 pounds with ly left leg and later on, 25 pounds. I cried with joy when I managed to lift 25 pounds last month!


Q: What three things would you tell a person who just yesterday learned of their cancer diagnosis?

HM: It's not going to be easy. You might have to take a break from work/school just to focus on your recovery. Know that it is going to make you a stronger person and you will never be able to forget your cancer journey!

Life is fragile, start loving those around you and don't push away those who love you.

Your value doesn't decease just because you are diagnosed with cancer. You are beautiful, you are loved.


Q: The one thing you wish everyone would do/say to an AYA patient

HM: Never ostracise them even if they are no long working/schooling. Keep them updated so that they will feel that they are still part of the company/school.