For the sake of anonymity, I will name the person Ms. M. I did not follow the main group into Coney Island, but accompanied Ms. M as she lagged behind everyone. She told me her legs were hurting and there was no reason to walk all the way into Coney Island just to turn back due to the tight schedule.
Even though she has urged me to join the main group, I was quite reluctant to leave her behind. She and I decided to turn back to the bus drop-off point. Along the way back, she has shared with me a little about herself. She is a patient in remission and frequented 365CPS in the past.
Ms. M’s life reminded me that there are many other sick individuals going through this vulnerable period without the support of their loved ones. Ms.M has a company of friends who jammed with her during those days. What about those individuals who have been neglected by their families, with very few friends and most probably not financially well off? As a volunteer, there is not much we can do but a little act of service can go long way. The simple act of just lending a listening ear to these individuals meant a lot to them.
An illness, such as cancer, can be very debilitating and adversely affect the quality of life. However, many of such individuals do not wish to be a burden or become overly dependent to the people around them. With an aging population in Singapore, sick elderlies who are similar to Ms. M are on the rise. There is a more urgent need than ever for a patient-centric healthcare. One that is able to care for the patient as a whole and not just one aspect. As an inspiring medical research scientist, this has given me a strong motivation for my research. I hope my research can improve therapeutic treatments and increase the overall quality of life.
I would like to thank 365CPS for providing an open platform for health advocators, patients and
potentially medical professionals and researchers to interact.