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Imagine being told that you will not be able to speak normally anymore and that your days are numbered. Such was the predicament of Mr Mohandas’, when he went to see the doctor for what he assumed was just a sore throat. His world came crashing down when he found out he had a huge tumour in his throat.

 

Mr Mohan was a heavy smoker for 42 years, almost finishing 2 packets of cigarettes per day. In 2012, he started coughing very badly and collapsed one day when he was drinking water. He was rushed to the hospital and was then diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. His voice box was removed and a major surgery was done to his neck. He could not speak for nearly 3 years. He lived without a voice.

Staying in a rental flat, Mr Mohan needed assistance to cope with the financial strain caused by cancer. Singapore Cancer Society (SCS) assisted him with cash aid ($14,040), Cancer Treatment Fund ($3,000 for Radiotherapy), and on Voice Prosthesis ($1,125), a device to assist him speak.

Just when he thought he would be alone in the cancer battle, he joined a support group where he found solace meeting members going through the same cancer journey. Today Mr Mohanadas is an active member in the SCS New Voice Club Support Group, which consists of members who have had some form of laryngeal cancer and have undergone surgical treatment or laryngectomy. He went through speech practice sessions conducted by SCS for the support group members. This has helped him regain his ability to communicate with others.

The support group also reaches out to new patients and renders emotional support to members and their families in coping with a ‘new voice’ after surgery. Speech practice sessions conducted by its members have enabled many to regain their ability to communicate with others. To find out more: http://bit.ly/SCSnewvoice.

“Smoking is the regret that will last with me forever. Like most others who start in their teen years, I did it to impress my peers. Little did I know that it will be a painful journey,” said Mr Mohan. He regrets about his smoking habit and is thankful for SCS assistance. To give back to the society, the 70 year old, is now sharing his story and advices youth to stop smoking in the Smoke-free talks conducted by SCS. His message to them is “don’t start on something that you will regret later in life”.

You can do your part for the cancer community. Donate to improve the lives of cancer patients like Mr Mohan: https://www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg/get-involved/donate.html

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