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Woman with cancer skips treatment to support daughter, 8, in pageant

The New Paper | Charlene Chua | Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

SINGAPORE - She diced with danger to see her daughter shine.

Ms Lily Foo has a rare form of cancer that requires chemotherapy. But when her daughter, Naomi, eight, took part in the Little Cinderella Singapore 2014 pageant last weekend at Downtown East, she chose to risk her health to support her.

Ms Foo, who was scheduled for chemotherapy sessions under the Gynaecological Cancer Centre at the KK Women's and Children's Hospital on April 4 and 5, skipped both treatments.

It was a dangerous thing to do as it will make the cancer cells stronger and make her fight harder, said a specialist. 

But Ms Foo, 31, a hair salon assistant, believes she did the right thing. She said: "My daughter is more important than my health.

"Even though my doctor was very angry and scolded me and said that skipping even one chemotherapy session is significant, I went ahead anyway.

"It's worth it, even if my condition worsens. I only have one daughter."

She added: "I know that I have to get better in order to be there for Naomi in the long run.

"So I was thinking positive thoughts the whole of the weekend.

"I just clung on to the fact that the heavens wouldn't be so unfair (as to make my condition worse just because I missed treatment to support my daughter).

"Naomi and I are very close. She definitely needed me there to support her."

Naomi, a Tampines North Primary School pupil, won the Little Miss category at the finals on Sunday.

But it came at a price.

Each cycle of chemotherapy includes eight sessions where one session is done at the same time each day for eight days straight.

Said Ms Foo: "I didn't want to start the fourth cycle on Friday because I knew that I would have to skip a few sessions so that would have meant that I would have to start the whole cycle again later.

"The price for skipping chemotherapy, I think, is that it gets very painful when you finally do it. After I resumed chemotherapy this week, it hurt so much I cried.

"I also suffer from blurred vision, sore throat and I feel exhausted all the time."

Ms Foo's resolve in wanting to cherish all the milestones in her daughter's life stems from the fact that she had two miscarriages in January and April last year.

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