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From Patient to Giver

A retiree creates pieces of art to drive breast cancer research.

A typical day for 66-year-old retiree, Mdm Saudah, starts early with exercises and walking around her estate, socialising. She then spends her time honing her artistic skills, picking up enrichment courses and caring for her two young grandchildren.

The feisty lady is living her life to the fullest — and loving every moment of it. However, the same couldn’t be said for Mdm Saudah 15 years ago, when she found out that she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. What began as a persistent flu for several weeks despite her healthy, active lifestyle proved a greater cause for attention when she then discovered a lump in her left breast. A chest examination and biopsy at Changi General Hospital (CGH) subsequently confirmed her fears.

Coming to terms with the news was hard for Mdm Saudah, who spent many nights crying to herself. All this changed one day when she spotted the obituary of her long-lost friend from her university days. At the wake, Mdm Saudah found out that her late friend had succumbed to cancer. That jolted Mdm Saudah into action, and she was determined to fight the disease.

Mdm Saudah has donated 70 art creations in support of CGH’s breast cancer research fund.

"I hope my contribution can create a better future for medical research into breast cancer.”

Madam Saudah Marwan

Having attended chemotherapy sessions diligently, it wasn’t long before Mdm Saudah’s cancer cells were successfully cleared. However, the journey wasn’t easy for her as the treatments left her feeling very tired, and chemotherapy-induced alopecia (hair loss) meant having to don a hat whenever she was outdoors. However, her spirits were constantly lifted by her doctor — CGH Senior Consultant and Head of Breast Surgery Professor Tan Su-Ming — who gave her hope through their casual bantering of future plans during her regular visits to the CGH Breast Centre.

With an optimistic outlook on life since the cancer’s remission, Mdm Saudah says, “Cancer doesn’t just get to you physically, but emotionally as well. Stay open to receiving whatever help and support that are available when it (cancer) gets to you because you will be surprised by the miracles that a positive mind can do.”

As a show of gratitude to CGH’s Breast Centre care team for journeying with her on her path to recovery, Mdm Saudah supports the Centre’s fundraising efforts through the creation of her hand-drawn canvas art pieces, with all proceeds going into breast cancer research funding.

Click here to find out how you can, too, make a difference.

From Patient to Giver