Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Defying The Odds...

By Frank

"My life will change". That was the statement in my mind 17 years ago when I was first diagnosed of Rhabdomyosarcoma. Even the team of doctors of Dr. Tan, Dr. Chiew, Prof. Quah and Dr. Yang that diagnosed, operated and treated me agreed on it. My oncologist Prof. Quah of Singapore National Univeristy Hospital and my radiologist Dr. Yang of Singapore General Hospital said my life will be different, especially physically when compared to other normal people, where I will appear weaker and won't be able to compete normally. In reality, my age will be of the year I am born in, but physically my weaker body may not agree. Though I agree on each statement given by the doctors that I trusted my life with, there is something within me that spurred me on to proof them wrong, well at least half of what they said.

15 years down the road, I started running and 2 years later, this is where I am now. Not a competitive runner but am proud to say that I have competed against myself and successfully completed numerous road races ranging from 10KMs to marathon distances, which includes 6 of the legendary distance. And at this point of writing, I'm gearing up for my first ever ultra marathon race at the Sundown Marathon 2009, one that will test both my physical and mental self for a distance of 84KM.

And thought currently still battling for fitness as I was hit by a pretty bad migraine 3 weeks ago, I have no other choice but to say I'm ready for this race. I was advised to withdraw from this race by Judith, my Canadian friend and sister to the late Terry Fox due to my health concerns, but I am pretty determined to be at the starting line come race day and to complete it no matter the time. I might be taking a big risk and gambling with my life here, but I guess my medical background, thoughts of my friends and my stubbornness are the things that will spearhead my attack.

Though I do not know how will I fare in the race, one thing for sure is that I believe I am able to complete it, unless something goes awfully wrong. And if that really happens, so be it. At least I know I have tried. I have nothing to prove from this race, but it's an achievement that I will really like to live with. Besides I will like to defy my weaker physical self, my past and of course the odds that my life has come upon with.


Henry Wong said...

Dear Frank,

You have my full support. However, as you have made it clear to all of us, you want to complete it irregardless the time. Try your best but not to the extend to risk your life. There are other opportunity to proof our fitness level.

Cheers and I pray for your success.


Loke said...

No worries. You can do it.

"What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate."
- John Bingham, running writer and speaker

jue said...


Just believe in yourself and have faith. Do the best you can but not risking your life.

I, too, am born with a weak heart n a slight polio. When I was young, i can hardly walk far enough without falling down. Doctor told my mum that I may not grow up and walk like other normal kids. But I ran many 10Ks tho' not as fast as others. I have never look back.

Just listen to your own mind n body. I trust that u can make it thru.

Best wishes

RunWitMe said...

Daer Frank,

All the best for your Sundown. Last year's trip is still very strong in my memory. You and your big bag...The makan trip...The Indian "Fragrance" hotel....etc. I'm sure what to expect from your run this year based on last year's run. Get plenty of rest before the run. 84km is no joke.

I will be supporting you guys from KOMTAR. :)

All der Best!

goldbaeq said...

Hi Frank,

Good luck bro..hope 2 c u on your 2nd lap of the 84km..just have a good rest in this tapering week..



Chee Kong said...


Support u! Tambah minyak bagi kau!

Carboman said...

Well you know that the Plat fellas will be cheering you on! Happy tapering!

Really enjoyed my 2 trip bonanza to SG last year!

Runnerz said...

Henry: You have my many thanks.

Loke: Good one there. Will remember that as I run.

Jue: Thanks. Good to know where you are today.

RWM: Haha... My big bag will make an apperance again. Hmm... What are you expecting from my run? I'm not expecting anything also. :p Can you see me from Komtar? *think I'm going crazy*

Rohaimy: Thanks. I hope if you do see me, I won't show you a very "pancit" face. Haha... You have a good run too.

CK: Thanks there. I think oxygen will be better. Remember Mount Kinabalu? Hehe...

Carboman: Thanks. Time flies and it's been a year. For this one, if time permits, I may fire back a SMS from the ultra-tent upon completion of my first loop. No promises though.

cRAzYtoMatOmaN-D said...

Hey Frank!
I support you all the way in defyig the odds!

Truly I salute your determination as 84km is tougher than the ironman.

fook said...

do ur best, if cant run then walk, if cant walk the crawl (but not adviseble to crawl) :) u could make it to the finishing line, just listen to ur inner voice and think of how far u come here for...
take care bro!

Lawrence said...

I'm very sure you can ace this race. In the short time I've known you, you have shown that you're a fighter and posses huge amounts of mental strength. Just run your own race and not be tempted to one up anybody else. I'll see you on the course hopefully on your second loop.

sohkeong said...

Dear Frank,

I truly salute you on your fighting spirits and determination. You and Ameba are two of my idols and you has always inspiring me to keep moving forward (by running/ jogging?). Every time, when you pass over me during practice either double hill or hartamas route, my only reaction is “Wah. So fast!”. I always saluted you guys ‘diam diam’ at behind watching you guys' back disappeared from my eyesight…

Nothing I can do but wish you be the best of you, always!

Once again, SALUTE!

Runnerz said...

Tomatoman: Thanks! I personally think running an ultra and doing the IronMan is 2 different disciplines. Both are not easy and I wouldn't say which is tougher. Nevertheless, thanks a lot for your support.

Fook: Wah! If I have to crawl, it means my system is shutting down soon. But even if I have to do it, I will. Thanks a lot for your encouragement.

Lawrence: Yeah, will run at my own comfy pace. Hope to bump into you too during my second loop. See you in Singapore!

sohkeong: Thanks a lot. I'm no idol at all. Just doing what I like most. Don't think we have met before. Come say hi if you do see me one day. Don't remain "diam diam". :D