Category: Uncategorized

[A Heart of Gold] Trading Miles for Smiles

Parents would do just about anything to see that sparkle in the eyes of their child or simply a face beaming with joy. When it comes to illuminating a smile on a child’s face, Caring CAB (Clowns at Birthdays) does likewise. Caring CAB is a group of professionals (some of whom are holding full-time positions) which has been actively volunteering with Star PALS since 2013. They travel the extra mile to bring the children extra smiles by bringing into play their clowning talents, singing and dancing skills and even performing magic for the children.

Picture3“A meaningful life is not about being rich, being popular, being highly-educated or being perfect. It is about being humble, being able to share ourselves and touch the lives of others. It’s only then that we can have a full, happy and contented life,” declares Shootie, who prefers to be addressed by his clowning name, a little quirk shared by his fellow funny men and women. The group of vibrant, fun-loving clowns has had many “first time” experiences with our patients at Star PALS.

Entering every house evokes a similar feeling of anticipation within each clown, but a different impression becomes indelibly imprinted in their hearts when they leave. There is a sense of joy in prevailing against hopelessness, a show of perseverance and gathering of strength despite all odds in most of the households that the clowns visit. They leave the houses, each with a deeply personal experience, speechless and amazed in their individual ways by the patients and their families alike.

“We show we care by delivering a moment of relief to the patients in whatever situation they are in, putting a smile on them; at the same time, the caregivers cheer up too,” shares Scooby.

Caring CAB always tries its very best to accommodate the different schedules of the families and individual physical abilities of the patients. The fabulously entertaining group of joyful jesters definitely go all the way and beyond just to bring joy and comfort. Most importantly, they create many beautiful memories that remain etched in the minds and hearts of our beneficiaries.IMG_0403On one such memorable occasion, Star PALS invited Caring CAB to join us for a birthday celebration in the afternoon. Sidney and Tellie were the dynamic duo activated and at the honking of a bright, red nose (or two), they dropped their daily work and hurried to meet the team at the void deck of the patient’s home. That was their very first home visit (unlike their usual hospital visits) and that one home visit thoroughly changed their perspectives and motivated them to continue spreading love and joy as clowns.

“The one-to-one interaction demands a lot more from us but the reward far outweighs the investment,” explains Tellie, the crooning comedian who loves singing.

In a hospital setting, there were proper facilities where they could change into their costumes and actual dressing tables where they could transform themselves cosmetically into full-fledged clowns, but home visits posed a whole new set of challenges as they had nowhere suitable to do any of those things.

Without much hesitation, they started slapping on their make up with whatever they had at the void deck benches. With space being a constraint, where can they change? Needless to say, clowns are almost always armed with a mindful of crazy ideas; they found a corner by the rubbish chute, relatively hidden from prying eyes (unfortunately not from our excessively enthusiastic photographers) and started frantically gearing up and hysterically pulling their costumes over their heads.Picture1Truly, these are not your run-of-the-funny-farm, ordinary clowns, but clowns with extraordinary talents and hearts of gold – always willing to spare time and go the extra mile just to witness a smile on the faces of our patients and families.

“I think about the turmoil that they are going through and what they have possibly been through earlier. Whenever I read certain stirring paragraphs of fiction, hear a particularly touching song, I’ll still remember the session vividly,” says Ronger, who volunteered once with Star PALS and left with a genuinely moving impression of a home birthday celebration.


“Our beneficiaries acknowledge the total devotion from the Caring Clowns. The settings in which they practice their craft (within our patients’ humble homes) have not been the most conducive but they took it in good spirits, blessing so many along the way with their genuine and heartfelt kindness,” says Dr Chong, Medical Director of HCA Hospice Care.

We are eternally grateful to be blessed with these beautiful buffoons who are volunteering with us at Star PALS. The difference they make to our beneficiaries is something neither any amount of money can buy nor any form of medical treatment can accomplish. It is something so priceless and worthwhile just to see the innocence and pure joy radiating from the smiles of our beloved patients, delivered right to their doorsteps and straight to their hearts in a Caring CAB crammed full of crazy clowns. The joy is profound, and it spreads to all who are present.

IMG_0597Drop a note of encouragement for our beloved volunteers @ You may also wish to visit to volunteer with HCA Hospice Care. Stay tuned to read more volunteer stories in the [Heart of gold] series!

From Stork’s Nest to the Stars: A basket full of goodwill and well-wishes

Ever so often, we become overly concerned about the way we look. We wake up feeling frizzy, like we are having a bad hair day, or walk out of the salon complaining about the bad haircut that was foisted upon us. What does it mean to have a good or bad hair day? The truth is that it is something petty and trivial that we pointlessly obsess over. For many patients suffering from cancer, the state of their hair is the least of their many worries.

HCA Hospice Care had the privilege to speak to Jani Combrink, founder of Stork’s Nest, who shaved off her hair to raise funds for the patients under the care of Star PALS, a palliative care service under HCA Hospice Care.

Stork’s Nest started four years ago in 2012 with only 20 of Jani’s close friends. To date, they have established a strong parenting support group reaching out to more than 7000 like-minded people living in Singapore who have been raising funds for Star PALS through different initiatives.


Last year, Stork’s Nest went the extra mile to organise three events which raised a total of $43,451:

Jani’s Sell-a-ton

The bustling bazaar has been an ongoing event since 2013, providing a unique opportunity for different individuals to set up special stalls selling both preloved and brand new items; all the proceeds from the successful sale were then generously donated to Star PALS.


Jani’s Shave-a-thon

“I was so embarrassed that I wished I could have done it in the bathroom instead.”

Despite her apparent mortification, Jani’s leap of faith and courage has moved the hearts of many to donate and give their support to Star PALS.

“No one stepped forward to shave. I was thinking it was just hair but when every strand of my hair started to fall, it was tough,” says Jani, with a look in her eyes that was a bold blend of bravery and fear (for one cannot exist without the other). “But I just kept thinking of the children suffering. How silly of me to feel so emotional about my hair!”IMG_1157

From various walks of life, Jani and the members of her team have each met children who were suffering from cancer, and have always wanted to raise awareness for these children through a big and significant event. Since they missed their opportunity to participate in the Singapore “Hair for Hope” event, they decided to go a-head (pun alert!) with their own private “shave-a-thon”.

Jani’s Christmas Quiz-a-thon and Auction

A swarm of question marks was hovering all over the heads in a hall in Fullerton Hotel throughout the enigma of an event known as “Quiz Night”! Funds were raised through the sales of tickets for the night and through an auction - a lucky Manchester United fan brought home the much-coveted grand prize: a jersey signed by Will Keane himself!

Now…why did Stork’s Nest decide to channel their funds to Star PALS?

Stork’s Nest does not run on a single cent of money nor do they accept any donations.

“We run on human energy and experiences,” shares Jani. “We can hold more events, not with money, but with the human resources that we have.”

Every individual comes aboard with no hidden agenda or motive, but only to improve the community by empowering and supporting parents. Currently, Stork’s Nest has nine official groups which cater to beneficiaries with different needs, from single mums to parents with children suffering from cancer.

“People were giving us money. We did not want to accept it for our own organisation so we decided to donate the money to a good cause,” says Jani. “The work that Star PALS does is such a great fit to what we believe in.”

Anson Ng, HCA Hospice Care’s long-time volunteer, was the one who shared with Jani about Star PALS, introducing her to HCA and our services…and as they all say, “the rest is history”.

Indeed, it has been a privilege to be the beneficiary of these wonderful and selfless initiatives. Once again, we would like to thank Stork’s Nest for their continued support from “hair to eternity”, and donations which have definitely gone a long way towards blessing the children under our care.

To donate, please feel free to visit

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A ‘beautiful departure’ of four-month old baby

Featuring the work of photographer Kerry Cheah, this article showcases Hermien’s life and strength even after the departure of her four-month old baby, Andrew Theophilus.

Welcomed with a warm handshake and smiles plastered on Mdm Hermien Iswantho and her three year old daughter, you won’t be able to imagine what they have gone through. They called it death but she says, “It’s a beautiful death.”


Doctors told Hermien repeatedly that she could not conceive due to her medical condition but she was determined to be a mother. Artificial insemination was not an option as Hermien and her loving husband, Mr Ady Atmadja believed that God would bless them in His time.

The long wait of ten years finally paid off, Hermien managed to conceive her first child. They were surprised and overjoyed. Sadly the joy was short-lived, it resulted in a miscarriage three months later. She had no physical pain but emotionally, it is was overwhelming.


The miscarriage did not waver her decision. The glimpse of hope that she used to have did not diminish. She tried for a second child and was miraculously blessed with an adorable baby girl, Ashley, who is cheery and tugs at the heartstrings of many.


Her third child, whom the family thought was a baby girl came as a surprise. Hermien and her family were allured by the entry of baby boy, Andrew Theophilus. However, the journey ahead was not easy for the family. They lost four-month old baby Andrew to Patau Syndrome. A rare disease with a predicted life span of only 2 months from birth. Baby Andrew outlived the prognosis and had a fruitful four months, with a restful staycation and trip to Sentosa Island. Family trip to Sentosa“I cried when I heard about all his medical conditions. Why does a small tiny child have to go through such pain,” Hermien questions herself. “I used to ask God, can I exchange my health for his pain?”

Andrew faced several complications with his health, sometimes, he would stop breathing.

“I remembered calling Dr Chong and Nurse Serene for help and they will give me appropriate advice,” says Hermien. “When it happens at home, I’ll pinch his tiny fingers and it helps to revive his breathing.”


Andrew was fit to be brought home to rest. As much as Hermien was happy, she could not assist in the suction or the tube feeding.

“I could not bear seeing my child suffer and having all the tubes in him,” says Hermien who was certain that the family will not resort to resuscitation should there be any complications.

“He was an alert and cute boy,” says Hermien as she recalls Andrew dying in her arms on her birthday. That fateful morning, Hermien noticed that Andrew did not cry and had unusual behaviours of coughing.

“He stared blankly at me and simply gave me three blinks when I asked if he wants to go home with Jesus. Then, I hurried to call my husband.”

They told Andrew, “If it’s your time, we’ll give you to Jesus,” followed by a simple prayer and neither any pain nor struggle, Andrew laid down his head for eternal rest straight after “Amen” on 28th September 2015. Baby Andrew

He was a tough fighter since birth. Despite his medical conditions, he grew like any other normal baby and his smiles brought joy and comfort to his family.

“I was doubtful and I wanted to check. I asked for the stethoscope again and when I heard no heartbeat, I knew and accepted that he was gone,” says Hermien. Those four months with Andrew were precious and Hermien would never trade anything else for it.


Ashley, is aware of the absence of her baby brother. She used to accompany him while mummy prepares milk.Ashley and Baby Andrew

“Once in a while, she will look for Andrew in the baby cot. Sometimes, we will talk to her in front of Andrew’s picture,” says Hermien. “She loves him”.


Hermien is thankful for the support from Star PALS, Dr Chong and Nurse Serene, for their love, care and concern even after the passing of baby Andrew.

“They assisted me medically and answered a lot of my questions.”

It was definitely not easy for a family who waited so long for a baby, had hopes of parenting the child, and was crushed not once but twice. Nevertheless, Hermien has a heart full of gratitude. Together with her family, they continue to inspire others with their story and strength. Their faith keeps them strong – believing all that happen is for the greater good.

You may wish to drop a word of encouragement for Hermien and her family at HCA Hospice Care provides bereavement support for our beneficiaries to help them cope with the loss of their loved ones. Visit to find out more.

Gone but still in MY heart and mind

Featuring the work of photographer Kerry Cheah, this article showcases Nurse Serene at work as she shares her pains and gains through lessons learnt from her patients at Star PALS, a paediatric palliative service for children with life threatening or life limiting conditions.


“We cry, I cry a lot. It’s not a taboo to cry, it only shows that my heart is always with the patients,” says Serene as she shows a personal record of her patients’ death anniversaries on her phone.

Serene’s heart has always been for the disadvantaged. She started her career teaching children with special needs for nine years, nursing came into the picture when she decided on a career switch. She joined the palliative care service two and a half years ago and has never looked back since.


Serene starts her day with administrative work and phone calls. Then, in contrast with her gentle disposition, she scoots off in her Vespa with her medical bag seated in the front to visit her patients.

“It is not a sad day every day, I do enjoy my visits. For me, the connection with families brings a great sense of satisfaction.”

Serene finds it a great privilege to be invited into the house of her patients. Thus, she does not misuse her designation as a nurse to dictate what the families do. Instead, journeying and supporting the families’ decisions are more important.151118HCANurseSereneFinal4

“They have all the rights to chase us out and reject our service,” says Serene who treats every first step into the house of a family a privilege. Her senses are all hyped up the moment she enters, she starts to identify the dynamics of the family, their problems and issues that she could help tackle. Her main concern is the patient and the concern also extends to the other family members – providing a holistic care.

“Patients and families sometimes turn us down due to the myths and disbeliefs of palliative care. There is only so much we can do for them to trust us,” says Serene as she recounts a few painful experiences with patients who passed on without the comfort that palliative care could provide. “Palliative care is one that I hope everyone can receive when diagnosed.”151118HCANurseSereneFinal24

Being quick to readjust to moods and environment is important in the work that Serene does. She may be visiting a dying patient in the morning and attending a birthday celebration in the afternoon.

“It’s so real. One moment I’m feeling the loss and the next moment, I celebrate an added year to a child’s life,” says Serene. Every relationship is an intimate, sacred and delicate experience. Her heart wrenches whenever she witnesses a child yearning to run and play outdoors yet trapped in a physically disabled body.

“It pains my heart even more when I leave the house of a suffering child and family, only to see everyone else in the surroundings living life as per normal,” says Serene who finds an even greater purpose and is certain about the work she does.151118HCANurseSereneFinal51

Serene does not stop when her patients pass on, she continues to foster a close relationship with their loved ones. Her time with each individual is a precious and uplifting moment.


She cries, pray and laugh with the families, sharing beautiful memories of those who had left. It always touches her when families treat her as one of their own – On one occasion, a family surprised and celebrated her birthday with a homemade cake.151118HCANurseSereneFinal52

“I’m tired after a day’s work but I’m always happy to be able to touch someone’s life,” says Serene who finds strength from her faith and family. “What warms my heart? Wishes of patients and families fulfilled before and after death.”

You may wish to drop a word of encouragement for Nurse Serene at Stay tuned to the next story of Nurse Serene’s patient under Star PALS – a sharing by Mdm Hermien and her baby’s beautiful death. Star PALS is a paediatric palliative care service dedicated to improve the quality of life for children with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions, in the comfort of their homes.

Congratulations, Nurse Lily Li Ke Jia, for receiving the Nurses Merit Award 2015!

F38C0884AWe would like to congratulate Nurse Li Ke Jia Lily for receiving the Nurses Merit Award 2015! With 12 years of experience in nursing, Lily is an Assistant Nurse Manager of Star PALS, a service under HCA Hospice Care, providing paediatric palliative care to children in the community.

The award is given to nurses who have demonstrated consistent and outstanding performance for the past three years, participating in professional development and promoting the nursing profession.

“Lily is a very committed and dedicated team leader, caring for her patients and caregivers,” says Angela, Senior Nurse Manager of HCA Hospice Care.

Lily has gone beyond and touched the hearts of many children and their families, leaving a huge imprint on their lives. As a palliative nurse, she considers it a privilege to enter every child’s life at such a crucial moment. Witnessing the resilience and joy her patients display through their physical struggles teaches Lily valuable lessons and encourages her to press on doing the work she does. Lily steadfastly believes that all her patients and their families deserve the best possible care and support, and is determined to find ways to better their lives.

Her commitment is evidently expressed through the close knitted relationship with her patients and their families. She would remember children’s birthdays and buy presents for them. She constantly finds ways to grant the last wishes of her patients and use her own weekends to help mind the children so families could have the time to handle their own business. Many caregivers trust, appreciate and feel assured with the guidance and love from Lily.

Coloured by her spiritual beliefs, Lily feels that death is not the end of life and it motivates her to do more for those under her care.

“It is the start of something eternal for the dead and a growing process for loved ones around. That makes my job important,”says Lily.

Just like anyone else, patients and their families need the human element of love, care and affirmation. Lily makes the effort to relate to each of them according to their background, needs and abilities.

“Every child that crosses my path would always take a part of me away in exchange for a part of themselves and their family,” says Lily as she reminisces her time spent with children under her care. “They have definitely left deep memories I will treasure forever.”

These experiences touch the heart of Lily and bring meaning to the work she does.

“I am more than thankful for the award. The children are the ones who made it possible. It is really all about living and transforming lives, not about dying,” says Lily.3480A.01.2018A

Nurse Lily received the award at Ministry of Health Dinner and Dance 2015.  Extremely honoured and humbled to receive the Nurses’ Merit Award 2015, she continues to stand firm in her belief.

“Every patient is precious in God’s eyes, nothing makes me happier than knowing I am part of their lives. I will keep striving to serve them with my best, even with the limited time and resources,”says Lily.

Nurses of HCA Hospice Care go the extra mile to provide the best for their patients. You may drop a word of encouragement for Nurse Lily and her team at You may visit to find out more about Star PALS and the work we do.

Star PALS featured on World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Report

World Hospice and Palliative Care Day takes place on the second Saturday of October every year. It aims to raise awareness and understanding of the needs of those with life limiting illnesses as well as their families and continues to create opportunities where like-minded individuals come together, to bring up issues pertaining to palliative care.

Hidden lives. Hidden patients is the theme for this year’s World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, taking place on October 10, 2015. This year’s theme focuses on patients living in unique conditions that often struggle with access to palliative care including children, LGBT individuals, HIV prisoners, soldiers and those living in rural settings.


Star PALS, a service of HCA Hospice Care was recently reported in the World Day Report.  Launched in 2012, Star PALS believes that every child is precious and has impacted almost 160 families since then.

Dr Chong Poh Heng, Programme Director of Star PALS, shares about his concern regarding hidden children in Singapore with genetic conditions. The dedicated team continues to provide Medical Care, Psychological Support, Art & Music Therapy, Family Care, Respite Care and Bereavement Support throughout. The services provided extends beyond the care of patient to their families. As reported, children and young people with genetic disorders are living longer thus posing a challenge as they transition into adult palliative care services. Dr Chong says, “These families certainly deserve the comprehensive and compassionate support that palliative care can provide, to make every moment meaningful and worthwhile.”

As an extension of Star PALS services, are the Medi Minders. They are a group of trained volunteers, who spend four to eight hours with patients while caregivers have a break. Medical students like Janice Soo, renders her services and dedicates time to make a difference and provide respite care for Star PALS families.

No matter how brief a shooting star lights up the night sky, its brilliant trail leads a path of hope to all who observe it. Star PALS aims to improve the quality of life for children with life limiting conditions and their families. Click here to find out more about Star PALS and how you can help make a difference in the lives of these children. Join us on this journey as we brighten each and every shining star!

Being a Star PALS Medi Minder – doing small things with a big heart

“As a Medi Minder, I learnt to appreciate the language spoken without speech. Time spent here is more than just hours and minutes. It is always treasured and meaningful,” Janice Soo, 20, finds great joy and meaning in serving as a Medi Minder for the past three years.

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Medi Minders are a group of trained individuals who has the passion to bring quality and joy into the lives of children with life limiting factors. These children can enjoy life to the fullest with Medi Minders – reading, singing and entertaining them. A Medi Minder provides respite care for caregivers and takes over their role for a period of time.

Janice’s initial stages as a Medi Minder was challenging as she had to adapt and learn new ways of interacting with the children in Star PALS.

“Slowly, I began to feel their responses, emotions and needs. Such level of understanding and connection is really amazing. All it would take is sincerity and the sensitivity that comes,” says Janice. Her love for the children soon overcame the mixed feelings she initially had.

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Many encounters with these children and their families are memories deeply etched in her mind and heart. Aqilah was one of those who left Janice with deep footprints.

“I often watched movies, went shopping and did things together with Aqilah, who was like any other 14-year-old teenage girl. I was there for her as a companion, walking the journey with her,” Janice says. They planned for many future shopping trips together. Sadly, Aqilah passed on while Janice was overseas. She felt a tinge of regret not being by her during the last moments but she holds on to the treasured memories. “Nevertheless, I am glad we managed to fulfil her last wishes together. I believe the time spent was not just fun but quality time.”

Being a Medi Minder has taught Janice to be sensitive to the different needs around her and helped her grow in maturity. Even though she feels sad that some children have passed on, she finds it a privilege to be able to help in the little ways she could. “At the end of the day, I always feel satisfied and recharged being able to touch lives in this manner. The caregivers are always very appreciative and generous with their thanks, for the little that I do,” says Janice.

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Medi Minders like Janice provide some respite for the children’s care-givers. Initially they may feel apprehensive about leaving their children but after a session or two, they are confident that their children are in good hands with the Medi Minders.

“I am very happy with the service of the Medi Minder. It allows me to spend time with my other child,” says a regular user of the Medi Minder’s service. “My son is very happy whenever the Medi Minder visits and I don’t have to worry about him whenever I’m out.”

All it takes to be a Medi Minder is a willing hand with a big heart! Find out more about being a Medi Minders @ and join us today!

Star PALS Remembrance Day – “Always Loved, Never Forgotten”

Losing a child does not mean you stop being a parent, and a proud one at that. This maternal and paternal pride was evident in the faces of bereaved parents who attended the Star PALS Remembrance Evening on 15 August as they chatted animatedly and showed each other photographs of their children on their mobile phones. Their rich reminisces brought tears, laughter and spontaneous hugs among old friends and strangers alike.

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The Star PALS Remembrance Evening is a simple and personal event that is held every year for parents, siblings, family and caregivers of young Star PALS patients who have passed away. Filled with meaningful songs, reflective activities and inspirational sharing, the event brings families together in a heartfelt celebration of love and a candid acknowledgement of grief.

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Amidst cosy tealights and cuddly toys decorating the room, families listened to a moving opening address by the President of HCA Hospice Care, Dr. Tan Poh Kiang. Parents Kelvin and Shu Hui shared the intimate details of their journey with their beloved daughter Kaelyn, emphasizing the beauty of her life instead of the length of it, and the lessons they had learned from her.

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Families then filled up a Memory Jar with coloured sand, handwritten notes to their child, whimsical feathers and flower petals while they chatted with staff and other families at their tables.

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The most poignant part of the evening saw families and staff rising for the Moment of Remembrance, where names of all Star PALS patients who had passed away were rolled on the screen to a stirring song. Fond smiles formed on tear-stained faces as families watched their children’s name appear. Trembling hands found steady ones to hold on to in silence. This touching moment was completed with the reading of a poem specially written for the event, “Precious Little Love”, by medical student and volunteer, Pravin.

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As the evening came to a close, a sense of peace and camaraderie gently enveloped the room. Families left with warm embraces and well wishes, knowing that they would always be connected in a shared bond of love, grief and hope. And if their children could see them that evening, they, too, would know that they are always loved, and never forgotten.

Splashing good times with Star PALS

With the help of dedicated volunteers, the Family Camp 2015 was planned for a total of 29 children and their families.

It was sweltering among the prawning ponds, and Mdm Tan* furiously fanned herself and her son, whose limp body she held close. “Jin jua! (Very hot) ” she said, smiling cheerfully nonetheless. She glanced at her husband and older daughter, who were engrossed in prawning.

A splash, shout, and squeal later, a thrashing prawn was pulled from the pond. “Photo! We must take a photo!” Mdm Tan said excitedly, and volunteer photographer Lawrence appeared on cue to snap a shot of the happy family with their prawn.


A day out with the family may not seem like such a big deal to many of us. But for the Star PALS families, an outing is a complicated affair.

First, there’s the condition of the child to take into account. Second, the logistical feat of arranging for bulky equipment to be transported, or sourcing for affordable portable equipment. Finally, the possibility that an emergency could happen outside with no access to medical help weighs as a constant worry.

This is where Star PALS came in, to organise an event that the entire family could enjoy while addressing the families’ concerns.

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After all, the welfare of not just the patient, but the entire family, is crucial in paediatric palliative care. “As far as possible, we want to make it possible for our patients to enjoy opportunities with their families, just like any other child,” said Dr Chong, programme director of Star PALS.

With the help of dedicated volunteers, the Family Camp 2015 was planned for a total of 29 children and their families.

The event’s programme was crafted carefully – first came prawning, which was selected as a more sedentary activity in which many of the patients could participate with their families, while the more active children went longkang fishing. After lunch, the families made their way to the Upper Peirce Reservoir for a Water Venture kayaking and dragon boating session, while the children rested in their Orchid Country Club hotel rooms.

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Dinner, complete with balloonists, magicians, a photo booth, and a line-dancing team, rounded off the first day of the camp. The next morning, some of the patients tried hydrotherapy in the country club swimming pools, while parents were treated to head and shoulder massages by professional massage therapists.

Through it all, a team of volunteer nurses, Star PALS Medi Minders (trained volunteers offering respite care), and doctors were kept busy in the hotel rooms. By standing in to provide respite care for the Star PALS children who weren’t able to join in the activities at any point in the event, these volunteers allowed the children’s parents to relax with the rest of their family, with peace of mind.

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The volunteer minders also followed the children who were able to participate in activities, like the prawning session, to take care of their needs as far as possible.

“Wherever I look, there’s a nurse or doctor,” one of the Star PALS fathers said. “It’s rare for us to be able to feel so secure… to know that if we need the help, it’s just a shout away.”

“Thank you, Star PALS for organising this camp.”

Star PALS would like to thank all volunteers and sponsors who made the event possible.

Know a child and family who can benefit from our services? Do refer them to our website at so that they can find out more about the support we can provide them. If you’re interested in volunteering with us, email us at