Letters to Heaven 天堂情书 Episode7 (20 Feb 2010, Sat, 9:30pm)

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

Letters to Heaven 天堂情书 is a 8-episode Chinese docudrama series produced by August Pictures for Mediacorp Channel 8. People are invited to write letters to their beloved who had passed over, and each half-hour episode will re-enact the content in one letter.

 

“When those closest to us move on into eternity, what else are we left with besides tears of grief and memories too painful to go over? In reality, death allows us to better appreciate the difficulties and greatness of love, as well as the remarkable strength that stems from love. Letters to Heaven 天堂情书 hopes to give an account of human bonds, a presentation of something everyone can relate to – i.e., the undying connections between parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, as well as friends and colleagues. By sharing real-life stories and feelings, it seeks to touch viewers on the emotional level, and encourage everyone to re-examine their relationships, reminding people to be kind to their loved ones and cherish them.”

 

The focus of the series is on the essence of the love and emotions involved. Along with all the sorrows and dismalness, there will be aspects like thanksgiving, remorse, self-encouragement, new understanding and aspirations, and so on, all of which shall be given the limelight. Shots may be given a poetic or ethereal treatment as a projection of the protagonists’ wishing their loved ones bliss in Heaven.

 
The producer from August Pictures first approached me sometime late last year, hoping to get in touch with Molly’s sister and seek to feature Molly’s story as seen through the eyes of her sister.

 
Molly’s sister – Huizhen, agreed to giving the show a try, and send in her letter to heaven. The content focused on how she and the family tried to move on, updates, reflections on relationship, and well wishes to Molly. Once the letter was confirmed, Huizhen will be interviewed on TV in Mandarin and her letter will unfold through re-enactments, dramatisations and with symbolic shots, in tandem with voice-overs of first-person narrations taken directly from the original letter.

 
The shoot took place last month (see photos below, extracted from Huizhen’s blog) and the episode will be shown on tv this coming Saturday (20 Feb 2010) at 9:30pm. Do remember to catch it.

 

An update from KK Hospital

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)
This was a letter that I received from Professor Ivy Ng, CEO of KK Hospital, updating us about how much our first fund-raising for The Molly Lee Appeal has raised. Many thanks to everyone who has helped in one way or another to make the exhibition cum fund-raiser a success. 

  

 

 

Self-Defense Workshop for Women

 

Learn simple yet powerful self-defense techniques to help women extricate themselves from dangerous situations.

Le Boutillier’s techniques have made this course a best seller in the region. All proceeds from this course will be donated to the Molly Lee Appeal to help needy women with their medical bills though the KK Hospital Health Endowment Fund.

The “Self-Defense Workshop for Women” is organised by Association of Women Doctors. Sign up now!

Details for the workshop are as follow:

Date : Saturday, Sept 26, 2009
Time : 3.00 – 5.00 pm
Venue : KK Hospital, PEC Room 2, Level 1, Women’s Tower (Next to McDonald)
Fee : $75/pax
Class size : 20-25 individuals

To register, please fill in the reply slip attached with your details.

About Aaron Le Boutillier

Aaron Le Boutillier has been involved in training Women’s Self-Defense since 1991. A former Police Officer in the UK, Aaron has traveled the world giving lectures and workshops on this topic.

In Singapore he is responsible for training Singapore Airlines, Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and numerous Multi Nationals. Globally, Aaron is in charge of training Women’s Self-Defense to Multi Nationals, Law Enforcement Agencies and Airline cabin crew.

With a wealth of experience in facilitation and empirical knowledge, Aaron’s courses are known for their high level of interaction and fun.

The Molly Lee Appeal: It’s a Kind of Magic

(Written by Theresa Tan, Director of WMD and former Senior Editor of Vanilla Magazine)

 

The Molly Lee Appeal was one of those things that was “meant to be”.

I’ll be honest — after 5 years of Women Make A Difference (WMD), I was ready to take a break. Not that WMD had been doing a lot but the admin totally felled me. I was sick of counting T-shirts, making deliveries (so much that I owed one poor supporter a pink T-shirt for TWO YEARS), keeping accounts (more like losing them). I had reached a point I felt, I didn’t know why we started it, who we’d helped and if there was any point continuing.

So I told the directors, can we take a hiatus? I need time to think, and to focus on my kids and work for a while.

Just as I said it — not three months ago — this opportunity came up.

Molly Lee – Lee Huili, rather – was a young lady I met when she was named the winner of the Singapore Woman Award 2008. She had chemo the morning before she came for the shoot – she was so tired, so nervous about her hair… but in the end, the photos were exquisite. I remember after she won the award, Molly and I sat in the lobby of Pan Pacific Hotel and talked. She had so much life, hope, love in her – and she was always so others-centred. We prayed together before Josef came and whisked her away in a taxi. That was the last time I saw Molly alive.

When I saw what she had done with WeAreWonderWomen.Com, I was filled with a terrible mix of joy and sorrow – knowing she was so marvellous, and knowing her work was cut short.

Josef and I met and talked sporadically after her death to see what we could do. Ideas for an exhibition were tossed up, but at that point, with WMD-fatigue, I didn’t want to organise anything under our umbrella. Terrible, right, to be so hampered by Fear Of Admin Work.

I spoke to Soh Chin about it. She suggested, why not talk to Laura Hwang – let’s see if she has some good ideas. We chatted with Laura – and I decided, what the hey, let’s just try an email to Ivy Ng (CEO of KK). Ivy responded swiftly, Yvette from Corp Comms met Soch and me, and TADAH! The Molly Lee Appeal was birthed.

Edwin Ho — my partner-in-crime at Female when we shot a nude cover with three models then chickened out and DI’d black dresses on them! — had shot a series of nudes. That story was a total humdinger too — Craiglist IS good for something! (Read the story at http://bodybeautifulphotos.wordpress.com)

God has a funny way of getting things done. I have noticed, when He wants it done, He’ll get it done, whether you are with Him or not. But since I’m forever praying (and sometimes I wonder if I mean it) “Use me, send me” He did.

He kicked me off my butt to write the email – the appeal was started.

Next, to find a location. I picked up the horn and called the last person who had helped me with a WMD fundraiser: Dee. Dee had just joined Lo & Behold group. In two shakes of her bunny tail, it was done!

What did present an obstacle was the framing. Edwin had passed me these beautiful printed-in-New York photos and now I had to get them into a presentable state for sale. My trusty friend Michelle Bong called over 17 framers and was turned down time and again.

We had to push the date forward.

In the depths of my heart I felt God say, “Take the pieces, go to your framer (EA Latib Frame Maker at 520 East Coast Road, Ocean Park, #01-04, tel: 64432594) and ask him.”

I put it off. I put it off for nearly two weeks. Finally, after Michelle had called framers in JOHOR BARU, I said “okay I will obey.” Stubborn girl! Kick!

I brought all the photos, I stood there and begged. I said, “It’s for charity. The proceeds go to women who cannot afford cancer treatment.”

Mr Latib looked at me. I said, “My (WMD) budget is $2500. That’s all I have. Can you frame 41 photos for $2500?”

He said, “I will try.”

Mr Latib was such a blessing — he even went the extra mile to accommodate our 10000001 requests for this type of matting, that width of frame etc etc. It was a nightmare. And because I forgot to bring him the cheque early, he had to delay all other jobs for ours.

I am eternally, eternally grateful! What can I bring the framer with the biggest heart in Singapore?

On the day we went to set up at White Rabbit — everything came together. We never needed to put up the hooks on the walls — Josef’s magical friend made one call and we had all the easels we needed. A last minute request for wines came through — and it wasn’t just the regular stuff, it was a case of beautiful Nalan ’06 from Wine & Co (thank you Ching!!!). Talk about turning water (or nothing) into wine!

I stood in the centre of White Rabbit and breathed a Thank You prayer, and felt Him say, “I’m pleased with this. This is my house.” And indeed it was. The White Rabbit used to be a church for the British colonial soldiers. It features beautiful stained glass windows but the feature that captured my heart was a wrought iron grill of a dove and flames of fire. “EGO TE BAPTIZO” – in Latin, “I baptise you”. The atmosphere lifted.

The evening was magical — I cannot thank my friends, helpers, guests enough. Zoe Tay made a surprise visit — she and Edwin go back a long way. My faithful WMD crew – I love you guys, MJB, Mag, Wendy, Esther. My Committee – Beng, Jenn, Thomas and the amazing Adeline Yeo who pulled out all the stops and called their best guys. Soch, who despite her mad schedule, got the press to cover and come. Pam, who put Josef and me on the radio. Debra Soon, who sent her CNA crew to shoot it. Karen, my beautiful best friend of 24 years – I love you! My husband, my love, my hero, whose fierce support of his crazy wife just makes me cry sometimes – you are God’s gift to me.

Most of all, Josef — for being the motivation and the motivator. You don’t say much, but when you do, your words are weighed in gold. I respect you and am proud to have done this for Huili with you.

Sometimes people say “Wah you good hor, do fundraising.” It’s not something I’ve chosen — it’s chosen me. It’s a divine opportunity to do something that really changes things, which I have been given, and I realise now, not everyone is given that chance. I treasure it. Now, if I could find someone to take over the admin…

 

A Big Thank You

(Written by Theresa Tan, Director of WMD and former Senior Editor of Vanilla Magazine)
 

Josef Lee, Theresa Tan and the Committee for The Molly Lee Appeal would like to thank all our lovely guests who came on Monday, 6 July 2009, for the Body Beautiful Photography Fundraiser, and played a part in making a difference to women with cancer.

Our target for the evening had been $30,000. Just two weeks before 6 July, that amount seemed insurmountable —  we hoped we could scraped the three-quarter mark. Mrs Laura Hwang gave one piece of advice that served us well: “Call your friends and armtwist them.”

But it really didn’t take much armtwisting — individuals who heard that the money goes to women who cannot afford treatment for the cancers took action. Some took action immediately! One drove to the organiser’s home the very day he learned about the Appeal, and put our first $2000 in the pot (thank you Vincent Poon!). Next, a mega media company CEO sent his driver with a cheque for $5000 (thank you Lucas Chow!). And the night before our event, a donor passed us a cheque for $30,000 (thank you You Know Who You Are).

By 6 July, we had raised $45,000.

It was a wonderful night, attended by over 150 supporters and friends — the emcee, actress Karen Tan, was the consummate host, funny and poignant in equal parts. The highlight was the screening of a video Josef had made of Molly and the lives she touched. A total of 11 photographs were sold that night.

Molly and her passion to help other cancer patients live on. Each patient needs about $8000 for medicine and treatment. Help us help them.

These photos are on sale till 28 July. We hope you will buy one — there are over 20 beautiful images to choose from. Thank you for your support.

 

Fundraiser held in Memory of S’pore Women Award Winner Molly Lee

Article extracted from channelnewsasia.com

 

SINGAPORE : Winner of MediaCorp’s inaugural Singapore Woman Award in 2008, Molly Lee, may have lost her battle to cancer, but her husband and friends are keeping her memory alive by raising funds for young women with the disease.

Tastefully—shot nude photographs by New York—based photographer Edwin Ho of subjects who had lost either friends or family to cancer were auctioned off on Monday night.

Organisers have so far raised S$45,000 for The Molly Lee Appeal.

The fund will be administered by KK Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

Those wishing to contribute or buy pieces from this 40—photo collection can do so through this blog site.

 

Body Beautiful – A Photography Fundraiser in aid of The Molly Lee Appeal

 

WMD (Women Make a Difference), with the support of KK Hospital and WeAreWonderWomen.com has just held our first fundraiser to raise funds for The Molly Lee Appeal.

BODY BEAUTIFUL is a photography fundraiser featuring 40 images by US-based Singaporean photographer Edwin Ho. The subjects in these photos are 15 real-life people who have lost a partner, mother, sister or friend to cancer. Edwin, too, lost two friends to breast and womb cancer in the last two years. The closed-door exclusive event will be held on 6th July 2009 at The White Rabbit.

This fundraiser is for The Molly Lee Appeal. Molly Lee was a three-time cancer sufferer who set up a blog WeAreWonderWomen.com to support other young women going through cancer. Molly passed away on 29 May 2008, but not before making an impact on the women who regularly visited her site, and not before being named the Singapore Woman of the Year by MediaCorp.
 

HOW TO DONATE:

Only cheques accepted. The KK Hospital Health Endowment Fund is an IPC, hence donors are entitled to double-tax deduction. Please make cheque payable to: “KK Hospital Health Endowment Fund”

At the back of the cheque, please write
1. Molly Lee Appeal
2. F
ull Name
3. Mobile Number
4. I/C Number (for tax deduction purposes)
5. Mailing Address

 
These photos are all for sale — you are welcome to pay more than the stated price. All proceeds will go to the Molly Lee Appeal for the KK Hospital and Health Endowment Fund, benefitting women with gynaecological cancers and women with other conditions such as pregnant women with HIV. Visit bodybeautifulphotos.wordpress.com to view all photos and other details.

 

The Molly Lee Appeal is announced on CNA Prime Time Morning

(Written by Theresa Tan, Director of WMD and former Senior Editor of Vanilla Magazine) Extracted from vanillasurvivors.blogspot.com
 

This morning, Josef Lee, Dr Chia Yin Nin of KKH and I were on Prime Time Morning (with the luminous Suzanne Jung and the affable Steven Chia) to talk about the Molly Lee Appeal.

It was nice. I was in that studio once before, maybe three years ago, with Saleemah Ismail of UNIFEM and Glenda Chong was talking to us about our lobbying for the bill to be passed so that men couldn’t have sex with kids overseas without facing justice back home.

Anyway, this morning we were there as part of ChannelNewsAsia’s Singapore Woman Award week of publicity. Molly Lee was last year’s winner of the SWA, which was helmed by Vanilla (you would all remember I’m sure).

29 May marks one year since Molly passed away. I’ve always been so … dumbfounded is the best word… watching how Josef has really just taken this loss in his stride. When my mom passed away from cancer, I was bursting into tears every time I heard the word cancer. But not Josef.

The show went well – Josef shared about Molly and his vision for WeAreWonderWomen, and why he feels the need to keep her work going. I shared about how the fund came about — and at this juncture, I want to thank ONG SOH CHIN, my ex-boss, who really championed this all the way, and linked me with Mrs Laura Hwang and Prof Ivy Ng who really made this fund happen.

Anyway, Dr Chia (a very sexy, husky-voiced dynamo! I really like her!) shared about how positive mindedness went a long way in the recovery of a cancer patient – and Molly was such a great example of that. Even though the disease eventually overwhelmed her, her legacy now lives on, and hopefully, encourages other cancer sufferers to stay mentally strong and positive, because it impacts their recovery.

So! The Fund is up and running! Please spread the word! We will be holding our first fundraising event at the end of May – details to be revealed as soon as I get my lazy butt off my chair and get wheels in motion.

I just want to thank everyone who has been a part of this – in prayer, good wishes, linking people up – and I thank everyone who is going to join Josef and me in our bid to help women with cancer.

Stay tuned!

A Commemorative Video about Molly

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

Months ago, Jesulyn, a student from RJC emailed me about doing an interview on Molly. It was for a school project where the students are required to prepare a proposal based on the journey of an extraordinary person.

I did a simple written interview with the students and they were kind enough to forward me a commemorative video which they created along with their proposal for presentation. Using only the info and images found on this website, I think they created a really nice video that truly touched my heart.

Here’s the video. And once again, thank you Jesulyn, and also your team-mates.

Endowment Fund Launched in Memory of the late Molly Lee

(Written by Jessica Yeo, Channel NewsAsia)
Article extracted from channelnewsasia.com

 
SINGAPORE: Channel NewsAsia’s Singapore Woman Award winner will be revealed at the finals on May 7.

Molly Lee, who died of cancer two months after getting the inaugural award last year, had sparked a legacy, helping young women to cope with the disease.

And today, she continues to empower young women, or “wonder women” as she calls them, with some help from those close to her.

Her husband said: “We just felt that it will be a waste if all these efforts that she had put into this website, to help all these young women, end after she left, so we thought it will be good for us to carry on with whatever she had started.”

Her husband Josef Lee and friend, Theresa Tan, have started the “Molly Lee Appeal for KKH Endowment Fund” to help women between 18 and 50 in their fight against cancer and HIV.

Mr Lee said: “We all know it is not easy to deal with a disease like cancer and more so if you’re young, because all these young women are actually juggling work or studies or most of them have young kids or elderly parents. So whatever fund we collect will actually be quite handy in terms of subsidising their treatments or maybe even simple things like transport for going to hospitals.”

The two hope that by doing this, Molly’s good work will continue.

And her blog is also updated regularly.

Ms Tan said: “I think Molly’s spirit will probably continue mostly through her blog, through the rest of us (who) talk about her. And I think that’s how the women physically benefit from it.”

A photo exhibition to raise funds will be held on Molly’s death anniversary on May 29.

 

Molly Lives On… In The Molly Lee Appeal

(Written by Theresa Tan, Director of WMD and former Senior Editor of Vanilla Magazine) Extracted from vanillasurvivors.blogspot.com

 

I’m writing this a little bit prematurely but… I’m too excited to care!

Those of you who have followed and loved Vanilla when it was alive, will remember the winner of our Singapore Woman Award.

Molly Lee was a beautiful, gentle young woman who was a cancer sufferer. When her husband Josef Lee first emailed me to feature her, I was blown away a) by the portfolio he sent of his wife and her blog and what she had done via WeAreWonderWomen.Com. b) by Josef’s deep love for Molly, which even as I write this, touches me deeply.

Molly beat over 40 other nominees to be unanimously selected by the panel of judges (Laura Hwang, Prof Ivy Ng of KKH, Saw Phaik Hwa of SMRT, and Alan Nementchik from Guardian) as the winner.

Molly passed away on 29 May 2008, two months after she won the Award.
Josef and I had been in touch since – he wanted to do something to keep alive Molly’s passion for other young women cancer sufferers. We discussed a few project ideas but it all came back to the fact that we needed to create a Fund, and ideally, name it after Molly.

A week after I left MediaCorp, I emailed Laura and Ivy – and I tell you, these two women are super, ultra, mega amazing and they will be my heroes forever. Immediately they expressed their support for a fund, and Yvette Thomasz from KKH’s corporate comms, met up with me and Ong Soh Chin (my former boss and a big supporter of Molly too).

Almost instantly Yvette said, “We can name it after Molly!”

So I am very proud and happy to announce that there is now The Molly Lee Appeal, in aid of the KK Hospital Endowment Fund. This Appeal is specifically for women aged 18-50 who suffer from women’s cancers. We are currently discussing if this Appeal should also cover HIV/Aids sufferers who are women.

I am now planning our first fundraising event for the Appeal, together with my good friend Edwin Ho, a super talented photographer based in New York. Edwin has recently lost two female friends to cancer too, and this is a cause that is so close to both our hearts.

Stay tuned for news of our photo exhibition/auction fundraiser!

Molly featured on LifeWise magazine (Sep/Oct 2008)

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

Molly’s sister was notified by her friend that Molly was once again featured in a magazine, called LifeWise. So for the past one month, we have been trying to get a copy of this mag. It wasn’t easy as the magazine is not for sale on newstands, but only available to subsribers.

Finally managed to find a copy on loan in the library. On pg58, of Issue 17, LifeWise (Sep/Oct 2008), under the “Inspiration” section titled “Written Therapy”, Molly and WeAreWonderWomen.Com was featured, alongside 3 other inspiring blogs that had touched the lives of many others. 
One of the other 3 belonged to yet another equally amazing WonderWoman – Shin.

An excerpt from the article:

“Molly’s entries are honest, delightfully quirky and sometimes palyful. The feisty lady, who was named Woman of the Year by Vanilla magazine, will forever be remembered as a wonder woman who has touched many lives.”
 

Don’t Waste Your Cancer

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

 

Throughout her cancer journey, Molly was faced with obstacles and disappointments time and again. This was especially so towards the last few months when we kept getting bad news that the chemo drugs were not working.

Many times, Molly had thought of giving up on treatment. It was only through her faith in God that kept her going strong. However, as the presence of God dwindled in our hearts with each new obstacle along the way, Molly came very close to the verge of losing her faith. That was until she came across the following sermon by Pastor John Piper, who had written the sermon on the eve of his own cancer surgery. 

This article renewed Molly’s faith and I remembered that she proudly told me that she did not waste her cancer as she had bravely embraced her illness, and continuously praised God despite what she was going through.

I hope to share this precious sermon with any WonderWomen out there who is finding it difficult to carry on with your fight. Molly will like to encourage you girls to push on with faith, so as not to waste your cancer.

 

——————————————————————————————————————
 

Sermon by Pastor John Piper

[Note: David Powlison, of the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation, who was also diagnosed with prostate cancer, has added some helpful expansions to John Piper’s ten points. Indented paragraphs beginning with "DP:" are written by David Powlison.]

 

I write this on the eve of prostate surgery. I believe in God’s power to heal—by miracle and by medicine. I believe it is right and good to pray for both kinds of healing. Cancer is not wasted when it is healed by God. He gets the glory and that is why cancer exists. So not to pray for healing may waste your cancer. But healing is not God’s plan for everyone. And there are many other ways to waste your cancer. I am praying for myself and for you that we will not waste this pain.

 

DP: I (David Powlison) add these reflections on John Piper’s words the morning after receiving news that I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer (March 3, 2006). The ten main points and first paragraphs are his; the second paragraphs are mine.

 

 

1. You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God.

 

It will not do to say that God only uses our cancer but does not design it. What God permits, he permits for a reason. And that reason is his design. If God foresees molecular developments becoming cancer, he can stop it or not. If he does not, he has a purpose. Since he is infinitely wise, it is right to call this purpose a design. Satan is real and causes many pleasures and pains. But he is not ultimate. So when he strikes Job with boils (Job 2:7), Job attributes it ultimately to God (2:10) and the inspired writer agrees: “They . . . comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him” (Job 42:11). If you don’t believe your cancer is designed for you by God, you will waste it.

 

DP: Recognizing his designing hand does not make you stoic or dishonest or artificially buoyant. Instead, the reality of God’s design elicits and channels your honest outcry to your one true Savior. God’s design invites honest speech, rather than silencing us into resignation. Consider the honesty of the Psalms, of King Hezekiah (Isaiah 38), of Habakkuk 3. These people are bluntly, believingly honest because they know that God is God and set their hopes in him. Psalm 28 teaches you passionate, direct prayer to God. He must hear you. He will hear you. He will continue to work in you and your situation. This outcry comes from your sense of need for help (28:1-2). Then name your particular troubles to God (28:3-5). You are free to personalize with your own particulars. Often in life’s ‘various trials’ (James 1:2), what you face does not exactly map on to the particulars that David or Jesus faced – but the dynamic of faith is the same. Having cast your cares on him who cares for you, then voice your joy (28:6-7): the God-given peace that is beyond understanding. Finally, because faith always works out into love, your personal need and joy will branch out into loving concern for others (28:8-9). Illness can sharpen your awareness of how thoroughly God has already and always been at work in every detail of your life.

 

2. You will waste your cancer if you believe it is a curse and not a gift.

 

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). “There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel” (Numbers 23:23). “The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

 

DP: The blessing comes in what God does for us, with us, through us. He brings his great and merciful redemption onto the stage of the curse. Your cancer, in itself, is one of those 10,000 ‘shadows of death’ (Psalm 23:4) that come upon each of us: all the threats, losses, pains, incompletion, disappointment, evils. But in his beloved children, our Father works a most kind good through our most grievous losses: sometimes healing and restoring the body (temporarily, until the resurrection of the dead to eternal life), always sustaining and teaching us that we might know and love him more simply. In the testing ground of evils, your faith becomes deep and real, and your love becomes purposeful and wise: James 1:2-5, 1 Peter 1:3-9, Romans 5:1-5, Romans 8:18-39.

 

3. You will waste your cancer if you seek comfort from your odds rather than from God.

 

The design of God in your cancer is not to train you in the rationalistic, human calculation of odds. The world gets comfort from their odds. Not Christians. Some count their chariots (percentages of survival) and some count their horses (side effects of treatment), but we trust in the name of the Lord our God (Psalm 20:7). God’s design is clear from 2 Corinthians 1:9, “We felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” The aim of God in your cancer (among a thousand other good things) is to knock props out from under our hearts so that we rely utterly on him.

 

DP: God himself is your comfort. He gives himself. The hymn “Be Still My Soul” (by Katerina von Schlegel) reckons the odds the right way: we are 100% certain to suffer, and Christ is 100% certain to meet us, to come for us, comfort us, and restore love’s purest joys. The hymn “How Firm a Foundation” reckons the odds the same way: you are 100% certain to pass through grave distresses, and your Savior is 100% certain to “be with you, your troubles to bless, and sanctify to you your deepest distress.” With God, you aren’t playing percentages, but living within certainties.

 

4. You will waste your cancer if you refuse to think about death.

 

We will all die, if Jesus postpones his return. Not to think about what it will be like to leave this life and meet God is folly. Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “It is better to go to the house of mourning [a funeral] than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.” How can you lay it to heart if you won’t think about it? Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Numbering your days means thinking about how few there are and that they will end. How will you get a heart of wisdom if you refuse to think about this? What a waste, if we do not think about death.

 

DP: Paul describes the Holy Spirit is the unseen, inner ‘downpayment’ on the certainty of life. By faith, the Lord gives a sweet taste of the face-to-face reality of eternal life in the presence of our God and Christ. We might also say that cancer is one ‘downpayment’ on inevitable death, giving one bad taste of the reality of of our mortality. Cancer is a signpost pointing to something far bigger: the last enemy that you must face. But Christ has defeated this last enemy: 1 Corinthians 15. Death is swallowed up in victory. Cancer is merely one of the enemy’s scouting parties, out on patrol. It has no final power if you are a child of the resurrection, so you can look it in the eye.

 

5. You will waste your cancer if you think that “beating” cancer means staying alive rather than cherishing Christ.

 

Satan’s and God’s designs in your cancer are not the same. Satan designs to destroy your love for Christ. God designs to deepen your love for Christ. Cancer does not win if you die. It wins if you fail to cherish Christ. God’s design is to wean you off the breast of the world and feast you on the sufficiency of Christ. It is meant to help you say and feel, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” And to know that therefore, “To live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 3:8; 1:21).

 

DP: Cherishing Christ expresses the two core activities of faith: dire need and utter joy. Many psalms cry out in a ‘minor key’: we cherish our Savior by needing him to save us from real troubles, real sins, real sufferings, real anguish. Many psalms sing out in a ‘major key’: we cherish our Savior by delighting in him, loving him, thanking him for all his benefits to us, rejoicing that his salvation is the weightiest thing in the world and that he gets last say. And many psalms start out in one key and end up in the other. Cherishing Christ is not monochromatic; you live the whole spectrum of human experience with him. To ‘beat’ cancer is to live knowing how your Father has compassion on his beloved child, because he knows your frame, that you are but dust. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. To live is to know him, whom to know is to love.

 

6. You will waste your cancer if you spend too much time reading about cancer and not enough time reading about God.

 

It is not wrong to know about cancer. Ignorance is not a virtue. But the lure to know more and more and the lack of zeal to know God more and more is symptomatic of unbelief. Cancer is meant to waken us to the reality of God. It is meant to put feeling and force behind the command, “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3). It is meant to waken us to the truth of Daniel 11:32, “The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” It is meant to make unshakable, indestructible oak trees out of us: “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:2). What a waste of cancer if we read day and night about cancer and not about God.

 

DP: What is so for your reading is also true for your conversations with others. Other people will often express their care and concern by inquiring about your health. That’s good, but the conversation easily gets stuck there. So tell them openly about your sickness, seeking their prayers and counsel, but then change the direction of the conversation by telling them what your God is doing to faithfully sustain you with 10,000 mercies. Robert Murray McCheyne wisely said, “For every one look at your sins, take ten looks at Christ.” He was countering our tendency to reverse that 10:1 ratio by brooding over our failings and forgetting the Lord of mercy. What McCheyne says about our sins we can also apply to our sufferings. For every one sentence you say to others about your cancer, say ten sentences about your God, and your hope, and what he is teaching you, and the small blessings of each day. For every hour you spend researching or discussing your cancer, spend 10 hours researching and discussing and serving your Lord. Relate all that you are learning about cancer back to him and his purposes, and you won’t become obsessed.

 

7. You will waste your cancer if you let it drive you into solitude instead of deepen your relationships with manifest affection.

 

When Epaphroditus brought the gifts to Paul sent by the Philippian church he became ill and almost died. Paul tells the Philippians, “He has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill” (Philippians 2:26-27). What an amazing response! It does not say they were distressed that he was ill, but that he was distressed because they heard he was ill. That is the kind of heart God is aiming to create with cancer: a deeply affectionate, caring heart for people. Don’t waste your cancer by retreating into yourself.

 

DP: Our culture is terrified of facing death. It is obsessed with medicine. It idolizes youth, health and energy. It tries to hide any signs of weakness or imperfection. You will bring huge blessing to others by living openly, believingly and lovingly within your weaknesses. Paradoxically, moving out into relationships when you are hurting and weak will actually strengthen others. ‘One anothering’ is a two-way street of generous giving and grateful receiving. Your need gives others an opportunity to love. And since love is always God’s highest purpose in you, too, you will learn his finest and most joyous lessons as you find small ways to express concern for others even when you are most weak. A great, life-threatening weakness can prove amazingly freeing. Nothing is left for you to do except to be loved by God and others, and to love God and others.

 

8. You will waste your cancer if you grieve as those who have no hope.

 

Paul used this phrase in relation to those whose loved ones had died: “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). There is a grief at death. Even for the believer who dies, there is temporary loss—loss of body, and loss of loved ones here, and loss of earthly ministry. But the grief is different—it is permeated with hope. “We would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Don’t waste your cancer grieving as those who don’t have this hope.

 

DP: Show the world this different way of grieving. Paul said that he would have had “grief upon grief” if his friend Epaphroditus had died. He had been grieving, feeling the painful weight of his friend’s illness. He would have doubly grieved if his friend had died. But this loving, honest, God-oriented grief coexisted with “rejoice always” and “the peace of God that passes understanding” and “showing a genuine concern for your welfare.” How on earth can heartache coexist with love, joy, peace, and an indestructible sense of life purpose? In the inner logic of faith, this makes perfect sense. In fact, because you have hope, you may feel the sufferings of this life more keenly: grief upon grief. In contrast, the grieving that has no hope often chooses denial or escape or busyness because it can’t face reality without becoming distraught. In Christ, you know what’s at stake, and so you keenly feel the wrong of this fallen world. You don’t take pain and death for granted. You love what is good, and hate what is evil. After all, you follow in the image of “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” But this Jesus chose his cross willingly “for the joy set before him.” He lived and died in hopes that all come true. His pain was not muted by denial or medication, nor was it tainted with despair, fear, or thrashing about for any straw of hope that might change his circumstances. Jesus’ final promises overflow with the gladness of solid hope amid sorrows: “My joy will be in you, and your joy will be made full. Your grief will be turned to joy. No one will take your joy away from you. Ask, and you will receive, so that your joy will be made full. These things I speak in the world, so that they may have my joy made full in themselves” (selection from John 15-17).

 

9. You will waste your cancer if you treat sin as casually as before.

 

Are your besetting sins as attractive as they were before you had cancer? If so you are wasting your cancer. Cancer is designed to destroy the appetite for sin. Pride, greed, lust, hatred, unforgiveness, impatience, laziness, procrastination—all these are the adversaries that cancer is meant to attack. Don’t just think of battling against cancer. Also think of battling with cancer. All these things are worse enemies than cancer. Don’t waste the power of cancer to crush these foes. Let the presence of eternity make the sins of time look as futile as they really are. “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Luke 9:25).

 

DP: Suffering really is meant to wean you from sin and strengthen your faith. If you are God-less, then suffering magnifies sin. Will you become more bitter, despairing, addictive, fearful, frenzied, avoidant, sentimental, godless in how you go about life? Will you pretend it’s business as usual? Will you come to terms with death, on your terms? But if you are God’s, then suffering in Christ’s hands will change you, always slowly, sometimes quickly. You come to terms with life and death on his terms. He will gentle you, purify you, cleanse you of vanities. He will make you need him and love him. He rearranges your priorities, so first things come first more often. He will walk with you. Of course you’ll fail at times, perhaps seized by irritability or brooding, escapism or fears. But he will always pick you up when you stumble. Your inner enemy – a moral cancer 10,000 times more deadly than your physical cancer – will be dying as you continue seeking and finding your Savior: “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is very great. Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose” (Psalm 25).

 

10. You will waste your cancer if you fail to use it as a means of witness to the truth and glory of Christ.

 

Christians are never anywhere by divine accident. There are reasons for why we wind up where we do. Consider what Jesus said about painful, unplanned circumstances: “They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness” (Luke 21:12 -13). So it is with cancer. This will be an opportunity to bear witness. Christ is infinitely worthy. Here is a golden opportunity to show that he is worth more than life. Don’t waste it.

 

DP: Jesus is your life. He is the man before whom every knee will bow. He has defeated death once for all. He will finish what he has begun. Let your light so shine as you live in him, by him, through him, for him. One of the church’s ancient hymns puts it this way:

 

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger
(from “I bind unto myself the name”).

 

In your cancer, you will need your brothers and sisters to witness to the truth and glory of Christ, to walk with you, to live out their faith beside you, to love you. And you can do same with them and with all others, becoming the heart that loves with the love of Christ, the mouth filled with hope to both friends and strangers.

 

Remember you are not left alone. You will have the help you need. “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

 

Pastor John

 

 

CNA – A Journey of Hope (Ep5) on Ovarian Cancer

The upcoming episode 5 of “A Journey of Hope”, a program from Channel News Asia focuses on Ovarian Cancer, and shows the fight that ovarian cancer patients go through everyday. The show will share the experiences of 3 amazing ladies who has valiantly fought and survived the illness.

Molly has battled with Ovarian Cancer for two and a half years, and over the course of her journey, we realised how little people know about ovarian cancer, and how this silent killer is often misunderstood. There are no true tests for ovarian cancer, which means to say early discovery through regular checks and screenings are not an option (unlike pap smears to detect Cervical Cancers and screenings for Breast Cancer). Treatment like operations, chemotheraphy, and even the chemo drugs and how they are taken also differs depending on the cancer type. Due to the agressive nature of Ovarian Cancer, usually alot more need to be done in order to keep the cancerous cells under control and make sure they never return.  

Perhaps it is because Ovarian Cancer cannot be prevented, hence we seldom see any awareness campaigns for it. However, Ovarian Cancer is now the 5th leading cause of cancer death in women, and the 2nd most commonly diagnosed gynaecological cancer.

Do catch the show on the Channel News Asia on the following timings to understand more:
> Wednesday (3rd Sep 2008) – 9:30pm
> Thursday (4th Sep 2008) -  12:30pm (repeat)
> Friday (5th Sep 2008) – 4:30pm (repeat)

Happy Birthday to Molly

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

 

Today is Molly’s birthday. She would have been 33yrs old today.

And it was most coincidental that Molly’s plaque and photo for her niche is finally ready and installed on this same day. Her newly furnished niche is the best birthday gift that we can give her for this year. Even the contractor who helped with the installation commented that Molly’s plaque design is really unique due to the unusually large photo.

Molly is a typical Virgo. Everything needs to be perfect for her. I’m glad that after the many rounds of to-and-fro with the design, and having sent the photo to Italy for a better finishing, we are able to get the niche done up almost perfectly.

 

The entire installation process was documented by Molly’s sis. Look at all the cards and flowers surrounding Molly’s niche.

 

This is the mini birthday cake I bought for Molly. A small Coeur Noir from Bakerzin, a heart-shaped cake with layers of dark chocolate mousse and sacher sponge, and filled with brandy cherries and hazelnut dacquoise at the base. Molly loved dark chocolate and the best thing was that the small version of the Couer Noir came with 2 tiny white roses made of white chocolate that matches beautifully with the real white roses that flanked Molly’s niche. We managed to balance the cake on the newly installed ledge and took some photos of it.

 

A new pot of fresh red roses from Molly’s mum and sis, and also a hand-made card from Molly’s sis. The picture of the rabbit is because Molly loved rabbits and was born in the year of the rabbit:) 

 

Happy Birthday, dear. Hope you enjoyed your birthday, and all the presents that we got for you:)

 

The Vanilla Cover Girls

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

 

 

Vanilla Magazine has just turned one. And their latest issue gathered all 12 girls who had graced the covers for the past one year.

Except for Molly (and another girl who probably can’t make it for the shoot), the other 10 Vanilla girls all turned up. From the beautifully shot photos, I believed they must have had a great time at the shoot.

We were first informed of this ambitious shoot sometime in late April, by Vanilla Mag’s assistant editor Pam via email. The email was addressed to all the cover girls and briefly summed up the magazine’s intention to have a photoshoot with all 12 girls in it, as a lookback on the girls who had made the covers of Vanilla for the past year. It will also be a chance for the readers to be updated on how each of the Vanilla girls are doing.

During the time when we received the email, Molly was already feeling tired most of the day due to the water retention and was in bed almost all the time. I have been helping her to clear her mailbox, and that’s where I saw the email from Pam.

Initially, I was hesitant to tell Molly about the shoot. Firstly, she was already not feeling so well. Besides that, the chemo has already taken full effect by then so she had lost most of her hair. Being ever so concerned about her appearance, I believe Molly will not be desiring any photoshoots, especially at a time when she is not looking her very best. 

Few days later, during a brief period when Molly was feeling better, I took the chance to casually mention about the email and the photoshoot. To my surprise, Molly got quite excited when she heard of the news. She then started making plans and said she wanted to get well soon so she can attend the shoot.

That’s when I told her that I was initially deliberating on whether to tell her the news as I thought she will not want to be bothered by yet another photoshoot when she is already feeling so weak. Molly then happily replied, “Of course I will love to go for the photoshoot! Can take nice photos again mah.”

And that is why Molly always claimed that she’s a bimbo. For her, nothing is more important than looking pretty:)

 

PS: Sorry for the lack of updates. I have been very tied up with work recently. Anyway, Fleur has brought up some good suggestions on how we can keep the site more regularly updated through articles contribution from some of you. I am also looking at a possible site revamp at a later stage to include an online forum for general discussion. But until that happens, I will appreciate if anyone of you has ideas on how we can improve on the updating of this site. Feel free to send me your comments.

A Letter to Heaven

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

 

A couple of weeks ago, Molly received her first letter from Earth.

Somehow, a little girl was smart enough to address the letter to “Heaven, Molly’s House”. I believe Molly must be thrilled to get the letter. All the more since it was from Yee Hwee, her youngest cousin and also her “most favourite person in the world”. 

Here’s what Yee Hwee wrote in her letter:

 

Dear Huili jie jie (sis),

How are you doing in Heaven? I missed you so much!
Does your house in Heaven looks like this drawing?
Have fun! Will remember you forever.

Yee Hwee 

 

Along with her letter was also a drawing of Molly and her house in Heaven. Check out the photos below. You can see Molly standing at the balcony on top of her mansion, with her little wings and a shining halo on top of her head. The mansion even comes complete with a garden with rabbits and carrots:)

 

 

Molly will be featured on Sunday Times (this week, 06 Jul 2008)

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

 

Dear all,

Molly’s cancer story will out on this week’s edition of The Sunday Times. Sorry to all those who rushed out to buy a copy of The Sunday Times last week. I’ve checked with the reporter and she explained that the story was held back due to space constraints.

From what I understand, the article will be about young female cancer-fighters who blog. Other Wonder Women to be featured alongside Molly are Shin, Pacey and Fleur :)  

So do watch out for it.

 

Already checked with the reporter and she explained that the story was held back again to make way for other more urgent stories. Anyway, the good news is that Fleur only managed to see the reporter’s email for an interview yesterday. So since the article is delayed, we should get to see Fleur’s story being included too.

Anyway, the reporter will keep me updated again. She will only know for sure on Saturday whether the story will make it or be held back again.

 

Banners to Support WeAreWonderWomen.Com!

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly) 

 

Thanks to Fayth who first suggested having a WeAreWonderWomen banner, and also Fleur who reminded me about it. I finally got down to doing it and now, we have 5 new banners available for linking to this site:)

Go to this page and follow the instructions to use the banners. Let me know if anyone of you have prob with it. And also feedback to me if you feel we need more versions other than these.

Choose any of the banners that you like, or the one that best describes you (eg. Banner 3 for cancer-fighting WonderWomen, and Banner 4 for caregivers, family, loved ones and friends, Banner 1,2,5 are for general use).

 

Banner 1 – Official Logo (small)

Banner 2 – Official Logo (big)

Banner 3 – “I Am A Wonder Woman”

Banner 4 – “I Support The Wonder Women”

Banner 5 – “I Love Wonder Women”

 

A Tribute to Molly (by Vanilla)

(Written by Josef, hubby of Molly)

 

 

 

I have been checking out the newstands and bookstores everyday for the arrival of this month’s issue of Vanilla. And I finally got a copy of it yesterday. Big thanks to Pam once again for the lovely writeup. With just a few paragraphs, she has managed to fully capture the person that Molly was, and exactly the way that we will like to remember her.

     “But for all of us who knew Molly, and for the many young women she
     encouraged  through her online support group, WeAreWonderWomen.com,
     her infectious giggle, her optimism, her legacy will continue to live on in our
     hearts. Molly never spoke – or lived life – as if her days were numbered. She had
     a wonderful sense of humour, a child-like sense of wonder, a zest of life,
     and a big heart.”

But what really touched me was the ‘Editor’s Note’ from Theresa, who wrote that “Molly knew what true happiness was – to have the opportunity to help others, with whatever little she have”. Theresa couldn’t have been more right.

 

*** The Sunday Times will be running an article about Molly and WeAreWonderWomen.com this sunday. At the same time, they are also featuring a couple of other cancer-fighting WonderWomen who blog! So do grab a copy of it:)
The article’s not out today, so I guess it’s delayed. Will keep everyone informed again on when it will be out.