Singapore General Hospital’s (SGH) Beyond 200 Ride ‘n Run event kicked off on 3 September with a group of 12 cyclists aiming to clock 201 km around Singapore in one day. The event, which ends on 31 October 2022, commemorates the hospital’s 201 years of serving the nation and seeks to raise funds for key initiatives to improve patient outcomes and help those who struggle with medical expenses. 

This event was made more meaningful as two kidney transplant patients – Mr JC Yip, 53, and Mr Esmond Teo, 62, joined the ride to do their part to raise funds in support of patients in need and their families. 

Mr Yip, a senior vice president of an events company, and Mr Teo, a businessman, have been training regularly up to three times a week in the lead-up to the ride, cycling distances of up to 75km. They are also training for next year’s World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia, representing Singapore as part of the national team of transplant patients in the competitive road bike race. 

Both gentlemen are living proof that transplant patients can lead a healthy and fulfilling life after making a full recovery. 

Mr Yip’s kidney problems started in his mid-30s just as he and his wife had started a family. “When my kidneys failed, I was faced with deteriorating health and a potential job loss,” shared Mr Yip. He underwent a pre-emptive living donor transplant with a kidney from his wife in 2021 and avoided the need for dialysis.

Mr Teo, on the other hand, had an adrenal gland disorder. This was only discovered after his kidneys had been affected. He was eventually diagnosed with kidney failure in 2014 and had to undergo dialysis three times a week. Mr Teo was fortunate to be matched with a living donor kidney transplant that same year. 

“With the gift of life I received, I wanted to do something for others so they, too, can have a second chance at life. Not everyone has the financial means to get timely access to the care they need, so I decided to ride with the SGH team to raise awareness, and hopefully help needy patients in SGH,” said Mr Teo.

Grateful for their new lease of life, Mr Yip and Mr Teo are now living life to the fullest. Besides wanting to inspire other kidney transplant patients to do the same, they have also taken it upon themselves to set up separate fundraising pages for a wider reach after learning that more than 50 per cent of the SGH Needy Patients Fund goes towards supporting patients who needed interim dialysis.

“My wife and I received great care at SGH during surgery and thereafter. And it was a relief that we could afford such timely care. But I learnt that this is not the reality for many and some struggle to secure aid for related medical costs beyond hospital bills,” said Mr Yip.

Every year, more than $1 million is needed to help over 2,000 needy patients at SGH. The SGH Needy Patients Fund ensures that patients, who need financial support, continue to have access to medical treatment and care until alternate funding sources from the community are available on a long-term basis. The Fund supports them with basic and critical care requirements such as interim financial help for dialysis, equipment, consumables and treatments after they have exhausted existing financial assistance schemes. 

If you would like to support Mr Yip and Mr Teo in their efforts to raise funds for patients in need, please scan the QR codes below and make a gift online before their campaigns end on 31 October 2022.

Eligible donations enjoy 250% tax deduction and the donation is automatically included in the donor’s IRAS tax assessment.  

Did you know?

Transplant patients can also seek financial support from TRUEFund, “TRUE” stands for Transplant Research, Unique care and Education. Established in 2010, the Fund is set up for the benefit of needy transplant patients, support public education campaigns for organ/tissue donation and transplantation, and transplantation research initiatives.