Putting their books aside, 40 students from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, inspired by wheel -chair athlete Dr William Tan ‘80, went on a 80 km cycle race to raise funds for financially needy patients at seven healthcare institutions in Singapore. Starting at Ang Mo Kio Hub, where they were flagged off by Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, the students cycled to six hospitals in Singapore.
Organised by the Medical Students Society, the Ride for Hope 2009 aimed to raise $100,000 to help patients cover medical expenses at National University Hospital, National Cancer Centre Singapore, Singapore General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Alexandra Hospital and Changi General Hospital.
Said undergraduate Perry Liew, Medical Society Special Projects Director: “As doctors-in-training, we recognise the importance of providing holistic care for our patients, including addressing their psychosocial, medical and financial concerns. Through this event, we hope to raise funds to alleviate the financial difficulties of needy patients who are Singaporeans and Permanent Residents at seven public healthcare institutions in Singapore.”
In planning for the event, the students, comprising a mix of second, third and fourth year medical undergraduates, benefited from the experience of Dr Tan who is fighting chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), or cancer of the white blood cells.
“When I was first diagnosed with CLL in April 2009, I was both frustrated and devastated as I was not prepared to overcome this additional stumbling block in my life. Through the course of my treatment, I got to know other cancer patients who battled cancer, taking in their stride the various medical, social, psychosocial and financial challenges which they braved through and overcome. Together with the medical students from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, we hope to inspire and bring hope to more needy patients,” said Dr Tan, who covered a “symbolic distance in solidarity with the students.”
Other medical students, joined by nursing students from the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, took part in the Public Health Screening (PHS) 2009. They helped conduct free health checks for over 2,000 members of the public as part of the National Day celebrations, under the theme of “Come together – Reaching Out, Reaching Up”, which was held at Ang Mo Kio Hub on 29 and 30 August 2009.
Lauding the students for their effort, Prof John Wong, NUHS Deputy Chief Executive and Dean of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine said: “The effort and work put in by the students in organising the Ride for Hope 2009 and Public Health Screening 2009 is most admirable. It is heartening to note that as future doctors they have shown keen interest in serving the community and encouraging Singaporeans to lead healthy lifestyles.”
Lend support to Dr Willian Tan’s personal cause by making a gift to set up the Professorship in Paediatric Oncology to fund world-class experts to come to NUS to help improve the quality of research and care for children with cancer in Singapore and Asia.