Hold On to your Dream…
‘Chase your dream!’ is easy for one to say. But, for cancer-stricken youngsters, the courage and perseverance required for them to pursue their dreams and achieve their goals are far beyond our imagination.
Forest, a talented young girl, who loves to share her personal life and dance performances on social media was unfortunately diagnosed with leukaemia in September 2020. Forest burst into tears hearing the news, fearing that she would not be seeing her friends and school would be suspended for a long time due to her treatments. Hit by cancer at her age, these worries and fears are genuine. Forest’s life is just about to set sail, befallen with such disaster, how would she face it?
Just when everyone was worried about this young girl, Forest showed great strength and bravery in fighting her illness. I still remember shortly after she started receiving treatment, Forest’s mother shared her dance video with me. Unlike previous clips, this was filmed in the hospital! As it turned out, Forest having settled with the news, soon found that even she was sick, she could still live the life she wanted and pursue her goals she aspired. Hence, she determined to run her own online YouTube channel. Whenever she felt physically fit, she would dance to the rhythm in the ward. She no longer felt like a patient trapped in the hospital; she was a dancer; she was herself again! During treatments, Forest’s schedule was packed with courses from the Red Cross, busy shooting videos on her dancing and drawing, and sharing her journey fighting cancer on her social media. With her sincere and positive attitude, her subscribers were magnified in no time!
While everything seemed going smoothly, another challenge awaited… a few months after the treatment, the doctor told her that she had avascular necrosis from the use of steroid and she could not dance for now. The news was a bolt from the blue for Forest. Yet, when one door closes, a window opens. Arranged by a physical therapist, Forest started her hydrotherapy and instead of dancing, she enjoyed the pool tremendously. Recently, she even started her own online store selling arts and crafts, and with the help of her teachers and classmates, she resumed her school life.
There were many ups and downs throughout Forest’s treatment journey and road to recovery, but she has shown us that dream is like a seed weathering through a storm – the storm might destroy everything, but it can also provide nutrients for the dream to thrive.
The journey to recovery for young cancer patients is arduous. CCF strives to support them and their families along the way. Through counselling and organising various arts & crafts workshops, we encourage them to pursue their dreams, helping them explore potentials, cultivating interests and talents beyond their academic horizon.
‘Pursue your dream’ is easy to say but how can we make it happen? The answer is simple: be yourself, be persistent, live life your own way, even the road ahead is paved with adversity. Like what Forest told us, ‘Just do it! Life is full of uncertainties and you never know what will happen next. Grasp every moment and dare to dream. Never let your illness get in the way of being yourself!’