Times may be tough for everyone but for children with cancer and their families, it is now a little better thanks to a generous S$12 million gift from Goh Foundation to increase the childhood cancer survival rate.
In Singapore, 120 to 140 children are diagnosed with cancer every year and about 43% of them have leukaemia. Currently, the cure rate for children with leukaemia is on average 80%.
To improve the survival and cure rates for these young cancer patients, the Goh Foundation made the gift to the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS. The gift will help advance knowledge in the treatment of childhood cancer under the Viva Children’s Cancer Programme.
It will be used to set up the Viva-Goh Foundation Professorship in Paediatric Oncology and will also fund four research programmes for bone marrow transplant, childhood leukemia, bone cancer and after-completion-of-therapy. With the prevailing dollar-for-dollar government matching grant, the total funding is expected to be S$24 million.
NUS President Prof Tan Chorh Chuan said: “We are deeply encouraged by the Goh Foundation’s kind generosity in making this gift during these difficult economic times. The gift will be a great boost to research on childhood cancer, which is the second major cause of death among children in Singapore.”
He added: “Cancer research is one of NUS’ flagship research programmes and the gift from the Goh Foundation will provide strong support for high impact research that enhances our understanding of the disease, and accelerates the establishment of an internationally competitive programme for childhood cancer treatment and care. NUS, together with the National University Health System, will continue to partner the Viva Foundation to improve treatment of children with cancer.”
Expressing her appreciation for the gift, Mrs Jennifer Yeo, Director and Secretary of Viva Foundation for Children with Cancer, said: “There is an urgent need for us to respond to the cries of children with cancer in Singapore and the whole region. We are confident that with the support of all our donors, volunteers and strategic partners, we can save many young lives. I believe that this work of mercy that all of us have begun together will continue long after we are gone.”
The gift was announced today at the official opening of the Viva-University Children’s Cancer Centre located at National University Hospital (NUH). The Viva Children’s Cancer Programme is a collaboration between the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUH, the Viva Foundation for Children with Cancer and St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, a pioneering world centre for treating children with cancer.