I have a friend. Her name is Pei Lee. Like me, Pei Lee suffers from Neurofibromatosis Type II. I came to know her when my story was featured in Sin Chew Daily last year. Like me, Pei Lee is deaf in both ears and blind in an eye.

Except that Pei Lee is less fortunate. She comes from a poor background, with limited education. At age 28, Pei Lee is fluent in Chinese and speaks some Malay. Her last known job involved selling kuih in the wet market.

Two weeks ago, Pei Lee texted me saying the tumor in her cervical spine is acting up, making her legs numb. I advised her to borrow her MRI scans and medical report from the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. She tried, but the doctor refused. According to Pei Lee, the doctor simply wrote her a letter which I have not personally read.

Pei Lee wish to consult a neurosurgeon at private hospitals. Both of us have experienced removing spinal tumors in GHKL. We are aware of the poor quality of healthcare, especially those involving spinal surgeries.

This morning, I sent an email to someone who supported my cause not long ago. From our emails, I recognised him as a spine surgeon. The Heart4Hope products he bought online were mailed to the hospital. His reply came later in the afternoon. The kind man turned out an Orthopediatrician and spinal cord injury expert, but not tumors. He recommended me to a good friend, who is a neurosurgeon at another hospital, who may be able to help Pei Lee.

I wish to help Pei Lee save her spine, but then I came to another problem. How could she afford the treatments? Last week, Pei Lee asked if I could help her write an article to the press to request for donations. She can’t even afford the consultation fees. But I told Pei Lee the press does not work that way. They only help when your case has been ascertained, and a surgeon has decided to operate on you.

I’ve been thinking about her these days. RM60 (presumably) per consultation may sound like a small amount. RM1,000++ for a spine MRI is probably peanuts for some people. Yet I’m so baffled. How do I help Pei Lee?


A friend passed me some money for Pei Lee. For accountability reasons, I should list them out here for all to see and admire. But please understand what we are doing is friendly assistance. I hope I won’t get in trouble with the law.

1. Anonymous RM90.00
2. A Canadian RM992.00

Donate only if you trust me!

Yvonne Foong

As a child, Yvonne Foong dreamed of growing up to help others. To achieve her ambition, she began studying to become a psychologist. But things changed when tumours were discovered in her body at the age of sixteen. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 -- a genetic illness with no cure. Fighting for survival, Yvonne turned to fundraising and embarked on a medical odyssey to the United States. Her experiences since then have transformed her into a motivational speaker; inspiring hope, faith and strength. Yvonne is currently working to establish a humanitarian foundation that provides NF patients in Malaysia with financial and logistical support. Visit Works of Gratitude to learn more.


andrew · July 9, 2007 at 11:24 pm

Yvonne, how about organising a blog fundraising? I see that your blog has PR4 (page rank 4) which is quite good, so why not sell links on your blog for say, US$5-US$10 per link? With so many bloggers making money out there with their blogs, surely some of them are willing to chip in and get a PR4 link in return.

Even better, you could team up with some other blogger friends (with high PR blogs) and ask them to help you by selling links on their blogs too. Make a package like 10 PR4 links for US$50 in total. All earnings will go to the donation fund. I’m happy to take part as well but my blog only has low PR3.

I guess that’s how it works these days. Most people want something in return…I think this could work if you wanna target the blogosphere.

pelf · July 10, 2007 at 12:23 am

Hi Yvonne, Andrew’s suggestion sounds like a good idea, and if it helps, I have a 5/10 (my blogroll page has a 4/10!)– not that I’m bragging about it, but we could do something about it.. Or, we could do a separate “unofficial blogathon” for Pei Lee..

Whatever suggestions you have, please remember to keep me in the loop, OK? 🙂

Tiara · July 10, 2007 at 5:18 am

I’m not entirely sure PR really matters all that much anymore.

How about extending your Heart4Hope fund? You could share the money. Heck, make the Heart4Hope fund a general NF treatment fund – get it invested, give the money to people requesting treatment at your own discretion.

Yvonne · July 10, 2007 at 8:56 am

Hey, I’m going to keep in touch with Pei Lee and get updated with her progress. I’ll pass her whatever funds coming my way at the moment for the miscellaneous medical fees. As for raising funds, as to Tiara’s suggestion, at the moment I prefer someone else hold the money in trust if we raise funds for her. There are a lot of legal matters to find out.

Darren Chan · July 10, 2007 at 9:03 am

Of all diseases, that might be one of the most unfortunate one to have. Do yourself and your friend a favor; drop me a PM at my friendster, and we’ll see how we can help. Fingers crossed, I hope whatever future plan we might have in my univerity works out. Give me an estimated cost too.

Yvonne · July 10, 2007 at 9:06 am

Darren Chan: Okay, no problem. I’ll first took deeper into her medical condition, bring her to see the doctor, then let you know what is happening. Thanks!

pelf · July 10, 2007 at 10:42 am

I will send you a proposal in a while, we will see if it works out. But of course, like Darren says, we will need an estimated cost so that we know what we’re looking for.

mahendran · July 10, 2007 at 10:46 am

Yvonne, we can work to get some funds from her, im sure Timothy would help in, so would Kenny.

Let us know any way we can help in, u know we already have the network now, lets make use of it.

in the mean time, u take care of urself too dear


Darren Chan · July 12, 2007 at 10:04 am

Technically I know a bit about the disease, and I assure you I’ve seen people with it before. It definitely isn’t quite a pleasant sight because even the slightest hug can equate to unbearable pain. So guys, drop in the donation. As far as a cure, I doubt there is one at the moment, but treatment wise is mainly aimed at controlling the spread of the tumour.

Comments are closed.

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