One Against Cancer!

FIGHT AGAINST CANCER

A true story penned by a caregiver who witnessed the last days of his cancer-stricken granny. 

“Grandmother was a feisty matriarch in her 70s who had raised her 7 children through the Japanese Occupation. Even whilst she’s in hospital garbs, beneath her quiet and unassuming features granny packs a dragon-lady punch. Ironically, and cruelly, so did her brain cancer. We never saw it coming, until it was too late. 

Within a short span, our world would turn into one almost entirely spoken in numbers and timelines (She’s 74, and will be 75 come Jan; Doc places her 1-year survival rate at 45% chance if…). As she became weaker, even these conversations soon became more form than substance.

Granny was ‘brave’ to endure through the intense treatment and its side effects. On rare occasions when she was in better spirits, granny would request to take a walk down the corridor and asked too much of her frail brittle frame. “When I’m well, bring me for a walk downstairs”, she asked of me one evening. I agreed, and she knewIt was the last time I would lie to her. 

Unlike granny, I was, and still am, a runner. Yet, for all the decades and insidious cancerous cells that separated her from me, we had shared the same thirst for freedom that speaks to what is fundamentally a human desire for movement. My runs became a convenient and my only excuse to break down, wear myself down, pump my fists, let tears mix with sweat as they drip down my chin. Most importantly, it gave me a reason, reasons, to relive and remember the courage, passion, joy, and miracle of living.” 

 

CAMPAIGN AGAINST CANCER 

“Cancer does not just hit the old. It has hit my dad when he was in his mid-30s, my sporty university mate, a newly married young girl, 4-year old cute bubbly boy, and even the teenager who was preparing for his O level exams. We need to do our part to raise awareness of our ‘heroes’ and their caregiving families, to support them through their trying times,” says Jed, Co-founder of ONE, when asked about the campaign. Jed had also lost his dad to cancer when he was 3 years old.

Have you lost anyone to cancer? Who were they, and what did they so passionately stood for before cancer veiled their world?

Join #ONEathlete and #ONEteamsg as we honor their memory and celebrate the courage and passion for life, in this #ONEagainstcancer campaign! From now till the 22nd July, you too can post your photos on social media. Post with the hashtag, #ONEagainstcancer to lend weight to our voice!

 

 

 

 

RACE AGAINST CANCER

RAC aims to raise awareness of cancer and the services which Singapore Cancer Society provides and rallies the community to join in the fight against cancer. It also aims to raise funds for cancer treatment subsidies, welfare assistance, cancer rehabilitation, hospice care, cancer screenings, research, public education and cancer support group initiatives.

In its 10th year running, RAC 2018 will be held on 22 July at East Coast Park. It will feature two competitive categories – the 10km and 15km competitive races, as well as a 5km fun run. Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 male and finishers for both the 10km and 15km competitive categories.

Sign up at www.raceagainstcancer.org.sg. Registration closes 9 July 2018.

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AUCTION AGAINST CANCER

If you are not to keen to post or run, there are more ways the one to contribute! You could also contribute by taking part in the auction and donating! Funds raised will help to drive SCS Programmes and Services to minimize cancer and maximize life! ONEathlete Ashley Liew has also donated his SCSM2017 Finisher Medal up for auction!

He hopes to send a ‘plea-reminder’ to his potential buyer/ donor: “I sincerely thank you for your donation. It is truly a blessing not just to receive but also to give out of one’s abundance. Always stay humble while running for a bigger cause, such as for those that are unable to run due to health reasons.” 

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ONE is proud to partner the Singapore Cancer Society (SCS)’s Race Against Cancer (RAC) 2018, as its Official Sports Marketing Partner. 

ONEathlete x ONEteamsg Special – Mok Ying Ren

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”

About two million years ago homo sapiens evolved long legs and short toes to run for survival. Since then, Man has progressed from hunter-gatherers chasing food to running down competition but the race against time, for time, continues. In this time immemorial cycle of life, the young chases the old, the hunter becomes the hunted. Time is the enemy of all. Does one choose to rage against the dying of the light or fill the unforgiving minute with its worth of run?

(Photo Credits: ONEathlete)

Mok Ying Ren is 29 years old. The creases on his face wink in agreement when Mok smilingly bemoans “that the party doesn’t last forever and one day the music will have to stop.”

Once Mok was performing overnight duties at the hospital. There was a patient who got really excited knowing she was going to be stitched up by the national marathoner because “now I’ve got your autograph for life”. By all accounts time has also left its indelible mark on us all. In medicine as in running, it is always a race against time. Mok knows it only too well.

The enormity of the mission behind Mok’s medical profession has lent a great gravity and awareness of the fragilities of life and the human body. After spending a large part of his earlier running career overcoming personal injuries and now dedicating himself to the wounds of others, Mok quietly accepts when his legs take longer to recover, and his breathing more laboured as his heart and lungs strain to compensate. Men at 30 learn to close softly, doors they know won’t be opening again.

Professional running has been compared by some to poetry in motion. Gliding legs caressing the pavement like a carefree antelope, although not even the fastest or most graceful of them has been known to escape the endless pursuit of time. The younger Mok admittedly had an immolating passion and fury raged in his belly, which did not play well to the strengths of a sport where the one who wins is often the last to slow down.

Today, Mok can hold his own among some of the region’s best marathoners, and turn up the heat with a burst of speed or join a breakaway. The feisty runner is hardly one to expect mercy from after the gun goes off. But he always delivers respect. Respect your opponent and the distance. Respect your body. Respect the clock.

How much fire still burns within him? No one, including Mok himself, knows how his SEA Games bid will end. “You have to be absolutely committed, and hungry,” he said. “At the same time, I don’t tell myself that I must win this race or break that record.”

For the doctor-athlete straddled between medical responsibilities and athletic pursuit, Mok’s priorities were clear – his patients. “Their lives and well-being are my responsibility, and I owe it to them and their families that they receive complete focus and attention. When I was put in situations where I had to choose between my training and my patients, I was convicted to prioritize the latter. I guess then, training was compromised, but I gave the best of my ability.”

2017_Run_Mok_0334.jpg(photo credits: Ming Ham)

Like medicine, athletics is a lifelong apprenticeship where lessons are passed from one generation to the next. Through mistakes made and guidance shared, the baton is passed as the young learn what they can and the wise imparts what they have.

Mok knows his success is not his alone and he is grateful to friends, family and coaches who have stood by him throughout all these years, as well as the continuing support of partners and sponsors like 100PLUS and New Balance.

At the 29th SEA Games in KL, Mok will be trying to beat the clock but he is also racing the era. Champions don’t give up easily, not even against time. Coach Rameshon set the standing national marathon record of 2:24:22 at the 1995 SEA Games. Then, he was 31 years old.