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People Of MAKNA – Noor Rosina

Noor Rosina

 

How has the pandemic affected your fundraising work? And how do you adapt to the new norms?

 

The Movement Control Order (MCO) has forcefully stopped all our ground activities, disrupting our main source, which has always been face-to-face fundraising. It had a significant impact on MAKNA’s funds, which is required to help underprivileged cancer patients. Since then, we’ve been trying to work out alternate plans such as online fundraising and e-campaigns with corporate companies. The announcement of Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), has helped us resume our ground activities with SOPs in place. Our biggest challenge in the new norm is to attract the attention to MAKNA’s cause, therefore our event strategies have changed to focus more on talk events rather than booth events, promote more online-based fundraising and increase the use of QR codes.

 

Generally, who are the people who sign up as MAKNA donors?

 

It is easier to attract donors who have experience having families and friends with cancer or are cancer survivors. Most of our donors are also cancer patients or survivors themselves.

 

Personal experience that has impacted you during this period.

 

My most impactful experience was when I met a cancer patient who was doing radiotherapy treatment at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM). She had stayed at MAKNA’s Halfway House in Kubang Kerian. She came to the booth and insisted to sign up for the monthly donation because she is so happy and satisfied with the treatment and facilities provided at MAKNA’s Halfway House. She decided to donate, even though she does not have a fixed income. But she was determined to make sure that the balance is available for monthly deduction. She was very thankful to MAKNA and will suggest to her friends and family if they need the service. As a Fundraiser, I’m proud of MAKNA.

 

Noor Rosina Binti Noraini, Fund Development Officer (Leader)

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People Of MAKNA – Nurul Huda

Nurulhuda

I joined MAKNA in 2008. Now, it has been almost 12 years since I first started working here. I have gone through various challenges and multiple experiences. It was at MAKNA that I began to learn more about cancer, the importance of early cancer detection, prevention measures and the treatment for this disease. The knowledge that I gained helped me to educate my family members and friends regarding cancer awareness.

 

Even from the start of my career here, I had the opportunity to participate in a project to adopt a child cancer patient. It was surely a priceless experience for me. As a mother, it touched my heart to see the lively and cheerful little one playing around. No one would expect that the lovely child suffered from such a chronic disease. It really broke my heart when I found out that the little one passed away after two years of fighting cancer.

 

In addition, another program which taught me a lot was “homestay” program with the patient. In this program, I was required to stay at the patient’s home to experience and take part in their daily life. During this program, I could saw the strength and perseverance of the patient in braving the challenges without giving up. It was truly an eye opener for me.

 

Moreover, throughout my time at the Bursary department; which revolves around handling financial assistance application, I got to know more about the various backgrounds of cancer patients. Learning the various difficulties of cancer patients, it motivated me to work harder to help those in need of getting treatment at the hospital. I am glad that MAKNA provided help to the cancer patients and surely it helped to ease a lot of their burden to receive it.

 

I am very thankful to MAKNA for giving me such a valuable experience. MAKNA taught me that with motivation, positive mentality and moral support from family members, the cancer patients will be able to stay strong in overcoming the obstacles with resolution.

 

Nurulhuda Abdullah, Assistant Manager, Programme (Bursary)

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People Of MAKNA – Kathleen Mason

Kathleen Mason

“Does it hurt?” is the question that I often get from mammogram participants. As a radiographer, it is my duty to give them the best service and comfort as they undergo the screening.

 

The infamous Mammogram procedure is widely known for its painful and uncomfortable experience which are the reasons why most women are reluctant to do the check-up. Knowing this, I always try my best to console every participant and ensure they have the best experience with our MAKNA Mobile Mammogram.

 

It is always a disappointing moment for us when we could not deliver our service due to machine failure as there are people who travelled far just to get the free screening. Although we have scheduled maintenance service and checked the machine before heading to the event location, there are some things that we cannot avoid. When such unfortunate situation happens, it can be unpleasant for the participants as well so we would calmly smile and apologize for the inconvenience caused. However, with one bad experience, comes along 10 good experiences.

 

There was one particular participant that I will always remember as she brought such joy and satisfaction to my work.

 

“I’m scared to do this mammogram. I’ve done it before at a hospital and it hurt so bad”, the lady said to me as she came in the mammogram room, trembling with fear. She understands the importance of doing it, but the experience had traumatized her that she hasn’t been to the hospital for more than 10 years to get another check-up. The only reason she came in that day was because she was forced by her friends and family.

 

I talked to her about the procedure calmly before we started, and to see her trembling while walking towards the mammogram machine really broke my heart. So, I started to chat with her about her family, her children and where she lives while doing the mammogram. She started to get more relaxed and was able to successfully complete the mammogram.

 

“Eh…it didn’t hurt as bad as my previous experience!” she expressed herself once I said it is done. Before she left the mammogram room, she hugged me and repeatedly said thank you. “Thank you! May Allah bless you for helping a lot of other people like me.” The smile, the joy and the ‘doa’ really sparked the passion in my work to help others.

 

I always enjoy doing mammogram whenever we are in rural areas. It is a place where we meet the kindest and warmest people. And it is also a place where most of them have no knowledge about mammogram screenings and trusted more on traditional remedies until they seek help in later stages.

 

I often heard from our participants as they talked about their neighbours, family or friends who died because of breast cancer. They refused to go to the hospital or clinic to get a check-up and opted for ‘bomoh’ instead. There are many reasons why they choose not to seek professional help; some due to family matters, the hospital is too far and need to wait for an appointment and some because they have no money.

 

Thus, I am truly glad that MAKNA decided to build a Digital Mobile Mammogram Screening to help people from these communities. I am proud to be part of the team.

 

Kathleen Mason, MAKNA Radiographer

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People Of MAKNA – Grace Jee

Grace Jee

The pandemic affected our job in MAKNA especially in my unit. This is because our main job requires us to travel and do Digital Mobile Mammogram screening. We are supposed to start our very first screening for the people in Sarawak but because of Movement Control Order (MCO), we need to postpone our project.

 

Maybe this is the challenge for us and we need to learn to cope with this new normal. I hope that even with this, we are still be able to give our services to people around Malaysia, especially Sarawak and Sabah this year. I sincerely wish that we can overcome this obstacle so that MAKNA can continuously help people around Malaysia.

 

Grace Jee, Mobile Coordinator & Staff Nurse

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People Of MAKNA – Daud Simpat

Daud Simpat

We are very affected with the situation as we are not able to serve the community through MAKNA’s programs and services. As mentioned by the Ministry of Health Malaysia, it is vital for us to maintain social distancing between each other. Hence, programs which attract a lot of crowd should also be avoided.

 

Furthermore, our beneficiaries are also affected by the situation. However, we have contacted each patient in order to ensure that they are doing well. Plus, we assist them to check their eligibility for the Bantuan Prihatin Nasional and help them to submit the application. Not to forget those at MAKNA who provided food pack assistance to the affected cancer patients. Your effort and hard work is truly appreciated.

 

Daud Simpat, Staff Nurse

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People Of MAKNA – Cherylrichel Douni

Cherylrichel Douni

Everything feels different now. Even if we are now allowed to work in the office, there are new rules to follow, like temperature check, mandatory mask wearing, frequent hand sanitizing, workdays rotation, social distancing and now most meetings are conducted online.

 

But as a MAKNA employee, I am very thankful because during this pandemic we still get our full salary. As we all know, this pandemic has affected the country’s economy greatly. There are many companies which implemented salary deduction. I’m also very happy that despite the pandemic, MAKNA still find ways to help cancer patients. Even more glad that I’m part of this family. Thank you MAKNA!

 

Cherylrichel Douni, Staff Nurse

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People Of MAKNA – Lai Poh Chin

Lai Poh Chin

How has the pandemic affected your fundraising work? And how do you adapt to the new norms?

 

Our work does not stop during COVID-19. Like everyone else, we work towards adapting to the new norm by adhering to the SOPs set out by Ministry of Health (MOH) and being mindful of our own personal hygiene. It is also our responsibility to help teach those who are vulnerable and illiterate to understand the situation, especially those from the poor community.

 

Generally, who are the people who sign up as MAKNA donors?

 

I noticed that most people who donate are driven to do so based on their personal experience of seeing relatives or close ones suffering from cancer. There are also hospital doctors who became donors, after going through the process of referring their patients to MAKNA. Other than that, we also get sign-ups from exhibition.

 

Personal experience that has impacted you during this period.

 

I have experiences that are close to my heart. Once, a Malay man came running towards our MAKNA booth, sobbing with his hands stretched out. When I took his hands and consoled him, he asked if we could ‘doa’ together. He was so thankful to MAKNA because his only daughter was able to recover from Leukaemia. Now he’s signed up as a donor to help others as well. I also had a chance of encountering a cancer patient where she asked to sign up as a donor on the spot. Being a breast cancer Stage 3 patient herself, she would like to lessen the burden of those who cannot afford the treatment.

 

Lai Poh Chin, Fund Development Officer

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An Integrated Effort to Fight Childhood Cancer: A Malaysian & Global Perspective


Cancer is a disease which can occur to anyone from any background at any age group, including children. Childhood cancer is the term coined for any cancers that are commonly associated with children.

Childhood Cancer in Malaysia

The incidence of childhood cancer in Malaysia is still stable as reported by the Ministry of Health. According to the statistics, the most common cancers among children are leukaemia, lymphoma and brain/nervous system cancer. The total number of childhood cancer cases from 2011 to 2016 is 3,829 cases comprising of 2,131 males and 1,698 females. Additionally, children are found to have higher survival rate for cancers that affect blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes compared to adults.

Despite the fact that childhood cancer can be considered as rare, we should not disregard this issue. This is because cancer may cause serious repercussions towards children particularly in terms of education and development. On top of that, some children might find it difficult to adjust with their condition as they are too young to understand the disease. So, it is important for us to always give moral support and promote positivity in them.

Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer

Across the globe, an average of 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year. To prevent further escalation of this issue, the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer in 2018. The initiative has 2 main goals:

• Increase child cancer survival rates to at least 60%
• Alleviate suffering of all children by 2030

Find out more regarding the initiative here.

MAKNA Assistance for Children

At MAKNA, childhood cancer patients are eligible to receive assistance through our Bursary Programme. It is a financial aid which helps patients to purchase necessities and cover their hospital travel expense. Furthermore, MAKNA also provides financial assistance to enable young cancer patients or survivors to complete their education through our Young Survivor Scholarship Programme.

Like all cancers, early detection is crucial in reducing morbidity and mortality of childhood cancer. Parents or caregivers of children need to have the knowledge in identifying the symptoms of childhood cancer. Let us all act together to spread the awareness and support the children in their journey of fighting cancer. Together we can make a difference.

One of our beneficiaries, Faisal, has something to share regarding the struggle of having cancer at a young age. Watch the video below to hear his story.

Open Call for MAKNA 2020 Cancer Research Award

Open Call for MAKNA 2020 Cancer Research Award

MAKNA Cancer Research Award 2020 is now calling for application!

Open to young Malaysian scientists below 40 years of age who are pursuing cancer research, it is awarded annually to research proposals selected by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia.

All applications must be submitted online through the Top Research Scientists Malaysia (TRSM) database at www.mytopscientists.org before the closing date.
Details entry are also available at https://makna.org.my/services/research.
Application must be submitted by 15 May 2020.

For further information regarding the award, please email to peifeng.choong@makna.org.my or ashira.ahmad@makna.org.my
For any problems related to the ASM Awards & Recognitions system and database, please contact ASM IT Administrator at 03-6203 0633 or email to awards@akademisains.gov.my.