Press Release

Heart-Breaking Story of a 11-year-old’s Battle With Thalassemia

- Friday, 22 April 2016

Kuala Lumpur, April 22, 2016 – 100,000 babies worldwide would die each year without life-saving blood transfusions or transplant for those who are born with thalassemia. They have to endure every minute of their lives for a suitable transplant that could cure their illness. Thousands of patients are in a similar situation because of difficulty in finding genetically matching bones. 11-year-old, Chong Jing Man, who suffers from thalassemia since one year-old, was given a chance to undergo a stem cell transplant that could cure her illness after 10-years of wait. Her mother still recalled a moment when Jing Man almost gave up on her life due to sufferings and “I cried everytime I watched my daughter writhed in pain.” quipped the lethargic mother of three.

It was a blessing in disguise when the thalassemia patient finally has the sparkle back in her eyes when she was declared free from the blood disorder following a successful stem cell transplant from her father, Chong Wai Keong. It was after ten years of waiting for advances in medical science, Jing Man’s prayers has finally been answered. As Subang Jaya Medical Center (SJMC) specialist, Dr. Lin, used a new technology and technique to perform the transplant, which only requires a 50 per cent match with Jing Man.

However, Jing Man’s joy was short-lived when her parents were hit with reality on the high cost incurred from the operation. Coming from a humble background, the patient’s father, Chong Wai Keong, is the only breadwinner in the family, works as a helper in a coffee shop in Raub while her mother is a housewife. With a meagre income of RM2,000 per month, they have to eke out their income with RM1,000/month spent on medications and treatment for Jing Man. With transfusions and other medicine costs, Jing Man’s father has experienced much difficult financially and hence needs desperate assistance.

Jing Man’s transplant was done at SJMC due to the skills and expertise available only in the specialty hospital. As the transplant method is new technique and used new technology, the fees alone, costs up to RM400,000. As Jing Man does not have any insurance coverage for this coupled with the transfusions cost twice a month, amounts to RM 1,000/month; her father is unable to bear the cost of this treatment, being a poor labourer.

Prior to this, they’ve received some donations from the public including RM31,000 from Tan Hui Linn, the girl who survived an acid attack. She has decided to channel her access fund received from Lions Club earlier to Jing Man, as part of her contribution.

Recognising the plight of this little girl, Lions Club Subang Jaya (LCSJ) has stepped in to help to raise fund to settle off Jing Man’s operation cost and daily treatment costing. A small gesture like this may change a child’s life. Donations can be made either by cash or cheque, addressed to Lions Club of Subang Jaya.

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