Friday, March 15, 2013


My hard copy, courtesy of Ewe Jin
We all know someone who has battled cancer - a family member perhaps, a relative or a friend. There may be some among us who are going through the ordeal at this very moment. Most cancer patients regard their cancer journey as a very private and personal matter. Few would want anyone to know about it apart from their immediate family members.

Not Soo Ewe Jin. Together with his wife, Angeline Lim, whom he refers to as the 'silver lining' and 'steady anchor' in his life, he has documented his three journeys with cancer with the purpose of giving comfort and hope to cancer patients and their caregivers. Not only has he printed 12,000 copies of his little book to be distributed free, but he has also made it available for downloading from his blog "A Life Shared". He also shares on Facebook.

Soulmates Angeline and Ewe Jin
'Face to Face With Cancer' is the latest edition of the little book that Ewe Jin and Angeline co-wrote in 1999 after Ewe Jin was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma or nose cancer. The fifth edition chronicles his second journey when his cancer re-surfaced in 2006. In March 2011, he had to battle cancer for the third time.

Ewe Jin shares this third journey in the sixth edition of the book. He gives 'a moment-by-moment, blow-by-blow account' of his thoughts as he went through six cycles of chemotherapy followed by 33 rounds of radiotherapy. April 23, 2012 was a day of triumph and joy when he received the all-clear results from his PET-scan. Ewe Jin attributes his victory over cancer to the loving care from his wife who is his 'caregiver par excellence', and the immense support he received from his friends, relatives, neighbors, and members of his church. Above all, on every page of his book, Ewe Jin gives praise and thanks to God, whom he calls his 'Healer, Rock and Salvation'.

Ewe Jin was kind enough to send me an autographed copy of his book two days ago. I had read an online edition sometime in 2009 (I think) that a friend had forwarded to me in a link. I was touched by what he wrote, and by the fact that he wanted to share his cancer journeys with as many people as possible to encourage them not to give up hope. That's true magnanimity. Ewe Jin's happy and positive attitude towards life is an inspiration to us. We all need a good healthy dose of Ewe Jin's optimism and his belief in the power of prayer.

If Ewe Jin looks familiar to regular readers of The Star, that is because he is Deputy Executive Editor and writes a weekly column called "Sunday Starters", previously called "Monday Starters". It is a column I look forward to reading over breakfast every Sunday morning. As I wrote in a recent email to Ewe Jin, "That is what gives me the extra boost to start off the day. No need for vitamins."

Ewe Jin wrote this poem the day before his first radiotherapy session in 1999.

Ewe Jin's message is never give up. If you remain positive and trust God to be with you always, you will have the strength to overcome life's toughest challenges. He wants to spread this upbeat, feel-good message to as many people as possible through his little book, his column and his blog posts. You can help Ewe Jin pass on this message of hope and comfort.

Ewe Jin would love to hear from you, especially from new patients. He wants them to know that they are not alone. He can be reached at For caregivers in need of some advice and support, you can email Angeline at
Ewe Jin has a plaque with this poem on his office desk as a reminder to keep the faith in God.

Postscript: Ewe Jin passed away on 17 Nov, 2016. Gone but never forgotten by the many people whose lives he had touched.

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