27 JANUARY 2015

Honouring the tree of life

Cancer survivors and caregivers visit a secret garden to find out more about the healing power of nature.

In November, a group of more than 40 cancer survivors and caregivers boarded a bus to visit a part of Singapore they did not know existed. Along the way to the Bollywood Veggies in the Kranji countryside, they found rustic Singapore – where trees can still be found grown in small plots of land, the water is clear, the day is fresh and one can get a day of well-deserved rest and relaxation.

The survivors were on the annual retreat organised by CanHOPE, to celebrate one more year of cancer survivorship and pay tribute to those who showered the cancer warriors with love and support.

Through the programme, they were given a tour in the farm with a collection of plants known for their natural remedy effects and taught how to use those herbs and their benefits.

Participants’ enjoyment of their day in nature is evident as demonstrated through active friendly exchanges of their potting experience and kitchen recipes, especially when they hear familiar names they grow in their garden.

Dr Ang Peng Tiam, Medical Director of Parkway Cancer Centre joined them for lunch and some photos for memory’s sake. In his address to the attendees, he likened his journey to this farm hidden in northern Singapore to a survivor’s journey with cancer.

“Most of my days I travel only from my house to the clinic and back. I never knew about Bollywood Veggies, so when I was told that I had to come to this ‘ulu’ part of Singapore, I asked myself: ‘Where is that?’ But I have to trust that my GPS will bring me to my destination. And it did. Along the way, I enjoyed the views of this rural side of our country.

“This is similar to your journey with cancer. You have to have faith and believe that it is possible to treat it. And along the way, you make new friends and find new support, some things that you might have neglected and that is something beautiful you gain along the way.”

2015JanFeb-03b 2015JanFeb-03a

TAGS cancer survivor events, cancer survivorship