Wong (standing fifth right) and Andrew (squatting second right) together with their respective family members and friends after getting their heads shaved.
SIBU: Councillor Wong Hie Ping made the decision to go bald at the ‘Sibu Go Bald 9.0’ event yesterday to send an obvious and strong message of solidarity that hair loss is only a temporary setback on the road to recovery from cancer.
Wong pointed out that being bald is actually not a trend but, in fact, those who go bald are actually doing something positive for the Sarawak Children’s Cancer Society (SCCS).
“I have seen many cancer patients, be they adults or little children, including family members or friends.
“When these cancer patients earlier on had been diagnosed, they feel it is very difficult to accept the reality of the news,” she said.
Wong flashes a smile as the last of her hair gets shorn off her scalp.
Wong, who has two children, added her brother had been diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and, ever since she found out about it, she made time to always be with her brother to motivate him.
“When we were first informed by the doctor that my brother had cancer and had only three months to live, it was like the end of the world.
“From my personal experience, every family member, relative and close friend, as well as the cancer patients themselves, must have a positive mindset with a strong heart to go through the situation with hope for a better tomorrow. A positive mindset enabled my late brother to live up to three years,” she said.
Wong (left) receiving a kiss and hug from her mother, Sia as she holds her locks of hair after completing the shave.
Wong, accompanied by her 80-year-old mother Sia Siik Huong, her husband and children, said by going bald, she can personally experience it and have a better understanding of how the cancer patient feels.
“I feel great that I finally had made it – I have accomplished something very meaningful,” she said after she had her head shaved.
Her husband Ling Sing Kyu, when met, said he and their two children initially could not believe that Wong was willing to go bald.
“However, we respected her decision to go bald after we understood her intention (to do so) for a good cause,” he added.
Besides going bald, Wong also pledged to raise funds to help SCCS. She successfully raised a total of RM72,777.
“From the total figure, I raised RM22,777 from 89 donors who consisted of schoolmates, relatives and friends, while the caring Datuk Andrew Wong helped to raise for me another RM50,000,” she added.
Lorna (left) and Andrew (right) taking a wefie with Wong before she went under the razor.
Andrew, who is the son of Second Minister of Finance Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, also took part in the Go Bald – his third year taking part. Andrew was accompanied by his wife Datin Lily Toh and daughter Natasha.
Meanwhile, the ‘Sibu Go Bald 9.0’ event organised by SCCS at Delta Mall here yesterday raised a total of RM228,237.30 with 222 people taking part.
SCCS president Jocelyn Hee said Go Bald, which was launched in 2009, is the largest and the first head-shaving charity event in Sarawak.
“The objective of Go Bald is to encourage the public to demonstrate their moral support for children and families with cancer by shaving their heads.
“By doing so, participants show a strong message of solidarity, that hair loss is only a temporary setback on the road to recovery,” she said at the event.
Hee said at the same time, participants would also raise funds for SCCS through pledges from their families, friends and well-wishers.
She said this year, SCCS is targeting to raise RM1 million with 1,500 head shaves in total for Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.
SCCS advisor Datuk Lorna Enan Muloon was also present.
Members of Sibu 4X4 Owners Club also taking part in the Go Bald event.
Meanwhile, Hee said that Go Bald had provided SCCS with resources to provide continuous support and service to children and their family.
“Since we began Go Bald, to date, SCCS has built two halfway homes – in Kuching in 2013 and in Miri in February 2016 – costing more than RM3 million altogether.
“Both centres provide outstation families with free accommodation, transport and food during their stay, which at times could be up to a year,” she added.
Hee also said that since opening, the halfway homes have provided accommodation for more than 100 families during the course of treatment.
She pointed out that for the last seven years, SCCS has spent more than RM1 million on medical expenses and donations.
“Just last year, SCCS spent more than RM74,000 on financial aid and transportation subsidies,” she said, adding that SCCS also held awareness and
assistance programmes to help children with cancer and their families.