Singaporean Girl With Leukaemia Needs Help Raising $250,000 For Treatment

At any age, all of us have our own unique battles to wage. For some Singaporeans at 29, these could take the form of career transitions, applying for BTO or staving off loans.

For Rachel Cheong, the battle that she has to fight is leukaemia. In Apr 2018, she was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (T-ALL) — a type of acute, aggressive leukaemia that progresses quickly.

With a 25cm tumour pressing against her heart, surgery was not possible due to the high risks posed.

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Ms Cheong began to undergo numerous chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.

Initially responding well to the first 6 months of chemotherapy sessions in 2018, she was declared free from cancer after her scans came back clean.

Leukaemia relapsed after treatment

However, that victory was short-lived. In Jan 2019, Ms Cheong woke up to the difficulty of opening her left eye.

In a week, she discovered a cancerous growth at the back of her left eye and neck, in spite of all the treatment that she had undergone.

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Ms Cheong then also went through a stem cell transplant to clear off the leukaemia on 18 Aug 2019, and payed daily for her recovery in a desperate bid to live.

Despite both Ms Cheong’s and the doctors’ best attempts, she had started to develop dark spots and lumps around her stomach — it was then revealed that her leukaemia had returned.

Last hope is to undergo CAR-T therapy

As all kind of therapy available to cure the cancer had been exhausted, Ms Cheong had expressed how her last thread of hope is to go for CAR-T therapy in NUH, which started trial in 2019.

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She shares,

If I don’t give it a shot, I’ll just be waiting for the cancer cells to spread throughout my body.

As she would be in an isolation ward for a month, she would need to fork out an estimated sum of $250,000 for scans and hospitalisation fees.

She is expected to go through at least 3 months of chemotherapy to prevent the cancer cells from overwhelming her body before she can receive the CAR-T therapy.

She has been on chemotherapy to suppress the cells since 25 Mar till present.

If CAR-T works for Ms Cheong, she will be the 2nd successful patient in Singapore to be cured using this therapy.

The first successful case had been a 6-year-old British boy — Oscar Saxelby-Lee who had the same condition and came to Singapore to receive the therapy.

Continuing to fight on

Ms Cheong says that despite all that has happened, she fears neither the needles nor treatment.

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She says,

I remain cheerful and optimistic, cheering on the patients around me to fight on. I am not giving up.

She is humbly pleading for a chance to live on and lead a normal life for as long as she can, Miss Cheong elaborated in her campaign. Any amount of donations would be immense help.

You can help Ms Cheong through her Ray of Hope campaign here.

Funds raised will go towards settling her medical bills, which will be paid to the hospital directly.

We hope Ms Cheong will continue to stay strong, and see a swift recovery real soon.

Also read:

UK Boy With Leukaemia Now Cancer-Free After Treatment In S’pore, Rekindles Parents’ Hopes For Recovery

Featured images adapted from Ray Of Hope.