Malignant brain tumours is the second the leading cause of death in children in Singapore. Every year, about 40 children – and 100 adults – are diagnosed with malignant brain tumours here.
A new non-profit organisation was launched on Saturday (Nov 1) to raise awareness of brain tumours, and to provide support to patients and caregivers. The Brain Tumour Society Singapore (BTSS) is made up of medical professionals, patients, survivors and caregivers. And the group organised the first Brain Tumour Awareness Day to draw attention to the disease.
The highlight of the event was a car rally involving 40 Lamborghinis and Ferraris. About half of these supercars ferried patients, survivors and caregivers to various locations around Singapore where they distributed information materials on brain tumours. The rest of the cars ferried young patients on a joyride from the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital to Kallang Leisure Park, the rally’s end-point.
A Paediatric Brain Tumour Awareness Day was also held at the hospital and it featured a public exhibition, seminars, and interactive game booths. It was organised by a group of medical students from the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, in collaboration with BTSS.
“Brain tumours are a very complex problem, in a sense that a growth or even a treatment to that brain tumour could mean different things – a change in personality, some abnormalities in terms of speech and movement,” said David Ong, MP For Jurong GRC, Patron Of BTSS. “And when people know and understand the problem, they can better deal with it. So more awareness is important.”
Mr Ong said that as the group’s patron, he hopes to raise the profile of brain tumours – to give the subject more conversations, and airtime among his parliamentary colleagues and the medical fraternity.
“To look at how to give it more focus in terms of treatment, and to put together a structured caregivers programme, and to provide welfare and financial support for families who are going through difficulties in coping with the situation,” he added.