Guests seated in the front row during a Readings session

This post is long overdue. It should have been up five days ago.

I was at Readings to collect contributions to a group pledge for A Celebration of Life foundation again last Saturday. It was the first Readings for 2013.

This time around, my co-director Syahidah Ishak was there too, so was my boyfriend Jiande and our friend Azizah A. Shariff.

The total pledges collected this time was RM300.00, which put the total collected from Readings at RM680.00. This may sound small to some people, but it is not small to me. I believe that there are many things which cannot be valued with money. For instance, attending Readings to collect pledges gives me moral support and encouragement which are priceless.

Marina Mahathir reading from her book

My friend Marina Mahathir was also invited to read snippets from her new book, “Telling It Straight”, which is a compilation of her newspaper column articles. Marina is a constant inspiration to me because she, too, is a social advocate championing Human Rights and Social Justice causes. Besides, Marina has been supportive of my endeavors. Remembering her belief and support affirms my commitment to my own cause, and that’s priceless.

Jiande holding The Perfect Gentleman with its author  Imran Ahmad

I am very glad that my boyfriend enjoys attending Readings with me too. He has to type very fast to transcribe for me while authors read from their books and musicians sing their compositions. Transcribing verbatim on a QWERTY keyboard requires a lot of concentration and energy. I am touched by the commitment and sacrifice that he is willing to make so that my attendance at Readings can be complete. And that’s priceless too.

Moreover, he gets to meet foreign-based authors who stops by Readings while on their visit to Malaysia, such as Imran Ahmad, the author of The Perfect Gentleman.

Establishing A Celebration of Life Foundation will entail a long-term commitment for me. I am setting this up not as a seasonal project, but a lifelong commitment to a humanitarian mission. Hence, I am taking my time to appreciate everything and everyone around me along the journey, as I gradually gain momentum in this pursuit and long-haul run. To run and not be weary, I must maintain a steady heart and mind.

As always, thank you so much for believing in me and my ambition.

Categories: Works of Gratitude

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.

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