Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hi everyone, we really appeal to all of you to help us keep this blog alive. Please send in your stories to, and also donate generously to the Chan Shu Fang Trust Fund.

Like before, all donations can be made through RGS.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Launch of "Cancer Warriors" Book and CD

Dear all,

A book entitled " Cancer Warriors" was officially launched yesterday as a tribute to cancer patients- some of whom have won, and others who have won in spirit... This book is written by Stella Thng ( an editor of LIME who came to know Joan during the course of Joan's battle with cancer). She is like a Big sister to Joan and the rest of us and in the spirit of saluting the courageous, she penned this book hoping to help others heal and deal..... Her sister Sally, also a cancer warrior, inspired the birth of this meaningful project which features 23 stories including Joan's.

Accompanying the book is a CD which will officially launch next sat, 9th september. This CD features local artistes like Sun Ho, Electrico etc as well as the song entitled 'Joan'. The charity concert featuring its launch will be held at youth park *SCAPE ( time to be confirmed).

For interested parties who would like to contribute to the cause of raising funds for cancer charities, you can purchase the book and CD at the launch itself. Book is priced at $ 12.90 and CD at $ 14.90... Do show your support and help keep the fighting spirit of Joan, Sally and other cancer warriors alive!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Joan's ashes

Hi all,

Joan's ashes are placed at Church of Saints Peter and Paul's columbarium. The church is on Queen Street and Bugis is the nearest MRT.

The columbarium is at the basement, and please go to St Mark, 04-03 (i.e. fourth row, third from the left).


Monday, June 19, 2006

A Letter from Joan's Mom



这几天我才开始读大家的来信,我一边读一边哭,我哭一方面是想女儿-淑芳( JOAN),另一方面是我太感动了.大家对淑芳的关心和鼓励是那么的源源不断,是那么的爱她.在此,我只能和家人,还有淑芳和你们说谢谢,再谢谢,愿你们和家人都平安,喜乐!






美兰(Sharon soh)
Joan chan 淑芳的妈妈

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Hi all,

I'm an ex-RGS girl from the class of 1991, currently based in the US. I came across Joan's story just today, and it makes me glad that RGS is my alma mater. The can-do attitude of Joan and her friends, the warm-heartedness of the school towards one of their own and Joan's consideration for others in setting up the trust fund. I hope that I can do as well when faced with my own challenges.

Very coincidentally, I had just finished graduate school in the US and had received one of the better job offers in my class when I was diagnosed with cancer in August 2005. Like Joan, life pretty much fell apart. I ended up going for 7 procedures and staying in hospital for almost 3 months (Dec 2005 to March 2006) to remove the tumour and repair the subsequent surgical defect. I'm currently in the post-operative stage and expect to live. Through it all, I had received the kindness of many strangers, old friends and former classmates -- amongst them an ex-RGS girl by the name of Teo Meiwan (RGS folks should be able to figure out whom I'm referring to, since she is still quite active around the school). She kept on checking in on me and trying to make sure that I was alright. Even before this bout of cancer, I have had a lot of ups and downs in my life, Meiwan is not the first RGS girl who has made the time and effort to help me through the low points. Even as I am currently trying to rebuild my life, I hope that I can be as gracious and big-hearted as these RGS girls, young and old.

That said, I am also glad that big-heartedness is not the sole preserve of RGS girls. I recall the generosity and initiative of my primary school alma mater and school principal in raising funds for Jonathan Tan, to go to Israel to treat his leukaemia almost 23 years ago. And since then, there has also been other equally heart-warming examples. It is examples like these which remind me not to be too caught up in life's petty moments and strive harder to be a better person.
My 2nd year NTU In-house Practical Training project buddy's funeral service was quiet. 18 Jan 2006 Wednesday 10.30am. The sun was smiling merrily as we departed from Bishan street 24 to Mandai Crematorium. Family members, relatives, friends and colleagues, maybe about 40 of us were there to send him the last journey.

Standing in front of the viewing gallery, our hearts went with his flower covered coffin placed above an automated trolley rolling slowly towards the crematory oven.

He was a cheerful guy who loved to talk nonsense, intelligient nonsense that were funny enough to roll many on the floor with laughter and honest enough to offend a few serious souls.
Remembering those days when we were staying in the campus halls. Sometimes he would show me his guitar skill when I visited him in Hall 2, and I would sing along familiar songs. Mid-autumn festival, we had tea and mooncakes with a few friends in the room, together with my cousin who is now a mother of 2 boys. Ha! He came one evening to look for me in Hall 9, bombed me with questions on E202, made me so worried because I do not understand what he was asking and the paper was just around the corner. It was fun having him as a project buddy because he was a software expert and I need not sweat a single brain cell to finished the project supervised by Wang Han, a lecturer from PRC who has a research interest in computer image processing. We just liked to cling together during lectures, be it Michael Heng's HRM in MLT or engineering subjects in LT25. My first encounter with Tian1 Dao4 (Heaven's Word), a pretty new "cult" religion, was through him. I was really glad to learnt during his marriage in year 2000 December that he became a Christian.

He looked fat during one of our class gathering a few years back (one of the Chinese New Year season I think) and jokingly I asked if he had a good life after marriage. He was not having a good life. He was suffering from kidney cancer, diagnosed 6 months after his marriage and had one of his kidney removed. Many of his classmates, including myself, were ignorant about his health condition until his death news broken out on Sunday, by our beloved class rep. He passed on Saturday 14 Jan 2006, after fighting with cancer for 5 years. The news hit my sms mailbox while I was rushing the final proofreading and touching up on my dissertation before sending for hardcover binding. Striving for perfection on the dissertation seemed a meaningless task all of a sudden and I did nothing except vegetating on my seat for the next half hour.

Interestingly, I wonder why I did not call him up all these 5 years just to ask about his well being working in Motorola. Pace of life was fast and our friendship was sacrificed in the name of "busy". My diary recorded an sms received from him on 2 Dec 2004 21:29:10 saying "This is my new hp number.". According to his sister, he had stopped cancer treatment during that period as it was already end-stage. I did not call him then. I send him an sms on 8 Sep 2005 informing him of my decision to be a financial planner and would be glad to serve him if he wants insurance or investment alternatives. He called a while later but hung up immediately, leaving a "missed call" indication on my handphone. My morale was rather low then because of rejections I got from my friends... most of them became very busy all of a sudden, don't even have time for a 30 minutes lunch with me. I decided not to call him because I chose to believe that he was deleting my sms but had accidentally pressed the call option. Why such a low self-esteem? Why didn't I just call??!!! My final sms to him was on 1 Jan 2006 morning, wishing him a joyful and blessed life ahead as he opens a new chapter in 2006. He did not reply.

The wooden door closed after the slow moving coffin was fully pushed into the oven. A white rose bud, obviously had fallen off from the coffin, laid quietly on the floor in front of the closed door... it escaped the incineration but was left alone... plays no part fragrancing...

Life starts for a purpose and life ends for a purpose.

Can't bear to delete his number from my phone... Thank Jesus for His promise, we shall meet again in heaven.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Chan Shu Fang Joan

3 April 1986 to 24 May 2006

Far apart but close at heart.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Joan's wake will be today and friday below her block:
Blk 825 Yishun Street 81
Her casket will leave for the church at 2pm after a prayer session.
Her funeral mass will be held at the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea at 2:30pm.

A Temporary Farewell

Shu Fang has left us for a better place. She died in her sleep last night. We will remember fondly as the fighter who never gave up, until we meet again.