Mdm. Choo was 37 when she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2010. She underwent a mastectomy to remove her left breast, followed by chemotherapy at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS).
About 5 years later, Mdm. Choo experienced unexpected chest pain. A CT scan detected a cancer recurrence in the chest area. She was devastated. She underwent a second surgery in 2015.
Following this, there were repeated episodes of cancer progression and spread. Her underarms, lungs and spinal cord were affected. Her medical team surgically removed several of these metastases, and she underwent several lines of systemic treatment, such as chemotherapy. Treatment-induced side effects led to multiple hospitalizations, as frequently as every few weeks. Last year, she was told that the cancer had spread to her brain. Surgery was done to remove the tumours.
“I had thought of giving up because of the financial stress and our depleting savings. However, my husband encouraged me to persevere and assured me that we will find a solution. Regardless of the treatment difficulties anticipated, we won’t have any regrets if we tried,” said Mdm. Choo.
As a result of her physical frailties, her husband left his job to be her primary caregiver. Fortunately, with the help of the Medical Social Workers at NCCS, they were able to obtain financial assistance to reduce their financial burden.
“Every time my cancer returned, I told myself I am not one who gives up easily. I want to fulfil my wish to help the needy, and live a long, healthy life with my husband,” said Mdm. Choo.
Mdm. Choo’s journey has been an arduous one, but her fighting spirit and determination carried her through her decade-long fight with cancer. She is currently on treatment and doing well.
As cancer patients struggle with physical and emotional challenges during treatment, she hopes the public understands their plight and show support.
“There may be patients who decline treatment for financial reasons. I hope that more patients can receive or continue their treatment with the financial support others may be able to help provide,” said Mdm. Choo.
Be the Light of Hope to patients like Mdm Elaine Choo.
Be the Light of Hope is a fundraising campaign to raise funds to support needy cancer patients, through the NCCS Cancer Fund. Your contribution will help them cover treatment costs, transport costs to receive treatment at NCCS as well as providing general welfare support, such as rental of medical equipment, food delivery, medically-indicated home modifications and child-care support. You may find out more about this campaign on our giving page at
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