Many may shudder at the thought of bloodied zombies creeping up on them in the dark of night, but for HCA Star PALS patient Felice Siau, it is a delightful walk in the park.
The self-professed horror buff had always wanted to visit the Universal Studios Singapore Halloween Horror Nights, but did not manage to do so, due to health and logistical challenges. At just 21, Felice has been battling cancer ever since she was in her early teens. “My family was worried that it might be challenging to access the attractions, as I need the wheelchair to get around,” she explains.
Felice (left) with her mother and twin sister at the Halloween Horror Nights.
Felice’s long-held wish came to fruition recently, on a family trip to Halloween Horror Nights, coordinated by the HCA team and sponsored by Resorts World Sentosa. From slurping down fake blood, to visiting the various themed haunted houses and scare zones, Felice and her family had a wonderful time together, thanks to the crew onsite who facilitated their access and exit through the crowds.
It was a welcome getaway for the Siau family, particularly for Felice’s mother, who is her primary caregiver, and her father, the sole breadwinner. But perhaps for the doting parents, the biggest reward is seeing her happy.
Adrenaline Junkie at Heart
Despite Felice’s quiet demeanour, it is evident that the young girl relishes the adrenaline rush, be it through jump scares or sports. One of Felice’s fondest Halloween memories was dressing up as the infamous Annabelle doll when she was 12.
Felice with the actors at Halloween Horror Nights.
In her schooling days, Felice was also an avid basketball player on the school team. “There was once my teammates and I travelled to Taiwan for a competition, and we won,” she shares happily.
Today, playing basketball is a distant dream for Felice, as her vision and mobility have been affected by the cancer. Despite the limitations, Felice focuses on the hobbies that are still within reach, like watching her favourite horror flicks with her family, listening to pop music and playing zombie games on her phone.
Twilight of Hope
While cancer has undeniably robbed Felice of much of her youth and physical functions, there remains hope and aspirations. This spark of hope is the very essence of Project Twilight, a budding initiative by HCA. “Project Twilight aims to support patients in young adulthood,” explains Winiline Chan, HCA Star PALS Programme Coordinator. “We recognise that having a life-limiting condition does not limit the aspirations that they may have.”
Impacted by the long-drawn journey of illness in their formative years, these youths often face several challenges, including a high dependency on their parents or caregivers, social isolation and a fear of venturing out of their comfort zone.
“By engaging our patients meaningfully, we hope to explore and meet their needs and goals,” explains Kimberly Chan, HCA Senior Medical Social Worker, who has been working with Felice and her family. “Being able to work on and achieve these goals, will enhance their self-esteem and sense of independence.”
Felice (center) spends a day at the Oasis@Outram Day Hospice with Winiline’s mother, who volunteered to help out, Kimberly and Winiline (from top left to right).
These goals may pertain to learning specific skills, and/or building their social confidence, depending on their interests. At present, Winiline and Kimberly are exploring organising archery classes for Felice, building upon her passion for sports and providing her with a tangible goal to work towards.
Despite Felice’s health challenges, Kimberly believes in the power of perseverance. “We must not worry about what we cannot do, otherwise we will never do it,” Kimberly says resolutely. “What matters is that we try.”
It is a similar sentiment that Felice shares. “I really hope to be able to walk again,” she says.
All HCA services are provided at no charge to our patients and we rely heavily on philanthropy and public generosity to sustain our operations. Enable HCA to continue providing medical care and support to Felice and her family by making a donation today.
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