When he was about to start his primary school education at the age of seven, he was diagnosed with leukaemia. The news shocked his family and greatly affected their lives. He started his journey to fight against cancer since then. And now, he is 15 years old, and he has successfully defeated the cancer twice. If he had not contracted the Covid-19, he might have attended a special school for education instead of lying on a hospital bed receiving treatments.
Tan Yong Hong from Sungai Besar in Selangor was tested positive for Covid-19 resulting him to suffer a third recurrence of leukaemia. He flew to Singapore for CAR-T therapy in January this year, but the doctor found that the cancer cells had spread to his brain during the therapy. He urgently needs RM850,000 to undergo a series of treatments to continue survive.
When Yong Hong was seven, he had persistent fever and his face was pale. His symptoms were mistaken for dengue fever. After a blood test at the hospital, he was diagnosed with blood cancer, so he started chemotherapy and oral chemotherapy. He recovered in 2017 but during the observation period, the cancer recurred.
In October 2018, Yong Hong’s mother donated her bone marrow to him. Six months after he undergone the bone marrow transplantation, a follow-up report revealed that there were still cancer cells in the blood. The doctor had to extract his mother’s white blood cells and transfused into Yong Hong’s body. Unfortunately, the doctor found that the cancer cells in his blood were multiplying even faster halfway through the transfusion, so the doctor decided to stop all treatment immediately.
【The doctor once predicted that he may die, but he was resistant and he has strong will to live, so he has successfully pass through many stages in life】
His father got to know that there is a new type of precision targeted therapy for blood cancer called CAR-T therapy, but it can only be done in the hospital in Singapore. In April 2019, his father brought Yong Hong to Singapore for treatment and the doctor started Yong Hong’s CAR-T therapy in October that year. He returned to Malaysia in December of the same year, and he went back to Singapore for monthly follow-up visits since then.
However, Malaysia imposed the Movement Control Order in 2020, so Yong Hong could only went for his follow-up visits at a local hospital. In June 2021, Yong Hong was admitted to the hospital due to fever, and he was tested positive for Covid-19. In October 2020, the doctor confirmed that his blood cancer had recurred once again.
Yong Hong’s cancer is an unusual one, so he needed to return to Singapore for treatment. However, the treatment and follow-up visits for the past seven years had exhausted the savings of his family. They have no longer having extra money for Yong Hong’s treatment, so they approached One Hope Charity for assistance, hoping that the public can help them with their son’s medical expenses.
His 51-year-old father Tan Kok Tiong is a mechanic that repairs the air-conditioner of cars, earning slightly more than RM3,000 a month, while his mother Chu Shock Chin takes care of Yong Hong.
【The cancer cells had spread to the brain, he urgently needs special medication treatment for four weeks】
After One Hope Charity had learned about Yong Hong’s situation from the doctors from local hospital and Singapore, the foundation decided to allow Yong Hong to fly to Singapore for his treatment in advance. Yong Hong and his parents arrived in Singapore on 27 January. After completing their quarantine in Singapore, he started a series of examinations immediately.
On 9 February, Yong Hong started the CAR-T therapy. Unfortunately, the doctor found that the therapy was not effective this time, and the cancer cells were found to have spread to the brain.
After the meetings between the specialist doctor and other doctors from various countries, they decided to carry out another treatment plan to save Yong Hong’s life. Yong Hong must first undergo special medication treatment for four weeks. The medication treatment also include chemotherapy to lower the cancer cells in his blood and brain. If he successfully go through this stage, he will continue with the next stage of treatment, namely bone marrow transplantation and radiotherapy.
After reviewing the case, One Hope Charity decided to assist Tan Yong Hong in raising S$274,000 (equivalent to RM850,000) for the first phase of his medical treatment and living expenses. His parents agreed to fully authorise One Hope Charity in taking charge of the fundraising and collect the donations from the well-wishers on their behalf.
【Medical Trivia: What is Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy (CAR-T cell therapy)】
Chimeric Antigen Receptor also known as Car-T cell therapy, is a therapy where T cells being genetically engineered to produce an artificial T cell receptor for use in immunotherapy. The doctor will first draw the blood from the patient and separated it to collect their T-cells, and then recreate the T-cells so that they have special structures called chimeric antigen receptors. When the CAR-T cells are transfused back into the patients, these receptors may help the T-cells to recognise and attack the cancer cells in the body.【Source: Internet】
Family agrees to allow ONE HOPE CHARITY to take charge of the fundraising and at the same time, accumulating the donations from the public. For enquiries, please contact our careline at 016-4192192 or 019-2322192.