Sunday, December 31, 2006

syazwan: sad news

I was informed about it yesterday by mamagie. She was also stunned by the news. I don't know how to react or do.

For your info, Syazwan is not going to UK anymore. The doctors at St Barts informed us that the tumor is too big for the operations. the only thing that we could do now is to send him for that painful chemo at HKL, the same one he got before with a greatest hope that it will do a miracle.

Lest, only two things that could happen. either lose the eye or worse it affect his health.

I just don't know and don't want to think or do about it for now.

the only thing i could think of now is to bring him to Bird Park to let him see the birds . Of course not the same sweetly chirping birds we tried to befriend with at Jalan U Thant few weeks ago.

At least that is the best thing I could do now for him.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Rumah Solehah & syazwan

Mamagie, Farouq and me went to visit Syazwan last night. Before that, We dropped by at Rumah Solehah, to deliver some Christmas goodies for the kids.

Siti of Rumah Solehah playing with Farouq

At Syazwan's house.

shy at first....

5 minutes after that, he is already playing with Farouq

the family. the girl with red pyjama is his eldest sister-victim of retinoblastoma


Tuesday, December 26, 2006


received phone call from mamagie, my colleague who has been helping with syazwan's case. She told me that Dr Sunder of HKL told her that it seems Syazwan's tumor is bigger than the last scan. I felt like crying when she told me that.

Anyway, Dr Sunder said John Hungerford of St Barts reassures us that they are trying to maintain the cost at 7000 GBP sterling and it seems their response is warmer than the Wills Eye.

Dr Sunder will email me the details this evening.

Monday, December 25, 2006



Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills,

A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.
Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesnt matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn't always understand.

Friday, December 22, 2006


This is 1 year old Sara. Today she is sitting on my lap enjoying the YouTube of hippo & dog duo Pat & Stanley singing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".
Her godmother, Ain, our part time volunteer at our office often bring her along. I will not tell you the rest of the sad story of Sara but one thing can tell you that this cute little lady has liver cancer.
Spending few minutes singing and giggling with this friendly Sara is priceless.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

bank account details

you can donate to syazwan's mom bank account.


A/C No. : 1260020004692

Name: Nurul Sakinah Leong Abdullah

Monday, December 18, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Update on Syazwan

syazwan with his father en. effendy

Just got the latest and heartbreaking news from the doctors early this morning when Dr Sunder of HKL called mamagie today: apparently there is a "hidden cost" of additional USD28600 not mentioned by the Wills Eye hospital administration previously. Damn!

Only yesterday we were in jubilant mood when a friend offered her help to "lend" some funds and today we are back into square one. The next option is to send him to the UK and only by monday we will know the costing for that from the doctors. I hope the funds we raised so far will be enough to pay the treatment cost in the UK hospital.

Only yesterday, I cried silently while driving aimlessly to KLCC thanking for the "miracle" we got yesterday. " Ya Allah! Engkau makbulkan doa kami." I remember that words of thanks I mumbled while regaining my composure.

And now we are being tested by HIM again with the news from Wills Eye. Currently I am listening all over again to Josh Groban's "Don't give up!" to keep my morale high. I always believe, if your intention is noble, Allah will make it easy.

Insya Allah.

Do spread the words around. I pray to Allah so that miracles to happen again in the next few days.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Urgent Appeal for Adik Mohd Syazwan Johari, 3 years old

Dear Friends,

I just want to highlight an urgent appeal for Mohd Syazwan Johari, 3 years old will be going to seek a very urgent cancerous right eye treatment at Wills Eye Hospital,Philadelphia, USA.He already lost his left eye due to retinablastoma. He will be accompanied by his blind mom and my colleague, Puan Fadzilah Wan, Volunteer Coordinator for MAKNA.

The trip is supposed to be funded by Ministry of Health Malaysia (for the treatment cost & lodging) and Yayasan Kebajikan Negara (for travel cost) and my organisation, The National Cancer Council MAKNA (for daily stipends). We already making the arrangement with Malaysian community in Philly to help out with food and winter clothing during their stay for 18 days course of treatment.

However we received a very bad news today when Ministry of Health of Malaysia didn't approved the funding for unknown reason. He is supposed to go last Sunday 10th Dec.Now without the funding, the trip looks bleak.Still, we believe it can be done.

What they need:

Funds of USD12,500 or RM50,000 for the treatment cost. The rest is covered by MAKNA and Yayasan Kebajikan Negara. Just the treatment cost.

What you can do:

  • Help to fundraise for this young boy. Every dollars and Ringgit counts! You can bank in the funds to Syazwan's mom Ambank account in Malaysia. Email me for the details please.

  • Help to spread the words!

If you are interested to help or further info please contact me via email: or my mobile 6019-6925192.

I can give you further details ( medical reports/treatment cost/)

detail of treatment cost for Syazwan at Wills Eye Hospital

medical reports of Adik Mohd Syazwan Johari

passport of Adik Syazwan for the trip

Monday, December 11, 2006


I sent the Voltaire's quote via email to Dr Jemilah Mahmood of Mercy Malaysia few days ago and she replied.

Waalaikum salam wrt wbh,

Thank you Iskandar for your message. Alhamdulillah for the award but I am not motivated by awards and such. You are right about the quotation and it is also in the Prophet's saw hadith that doing good will always for some reason I still cannot comprehend bring a lot of challenges. It is Sunatullah and I redha, though it is very irritating.It will not stop me from trying hard to make this place a better world,inshallah, in any capacity I can.



a reply to ponder deeply indeed.

nice quote

Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish pru-dence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well. No one ever yet was the poorer in the long run for having once in a lifetime “let out all the length of all thereins.”


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tin Tin

My nephew, Harraz.

Tin Tin.
any resemblance don't you think?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wise words from Voltaire

"As soon as one wishes to do any good act, one is sure to make enemies. Should one render a service of any kind whatever, one can be certain of meeting with people who will try and crush you. Whether you write prose or verse, or you build a town, it is all the same; you will arouse a persecuting jealousy. There is only one way to escape from that harpy; never write anything but your epitaph, never construct anything except a monument for your tomb and get inside it as quickly as you can."

an extract from a letter written by Voltaire on 4 October 1771 to Madame La Marquise du Deffand

The STAR article

Alhamdulillah. we were featured in The STAR today.

Clowning for health

If you see a man with a red nose and an infectious smile in the hospital, he is probably Iskandar Syah Ismail, a clown dedicated to cheering up sick children. Clowning is far more than just a circus act.
WITH the care of a surgeon, Iskandar Syah Ismail folds the edges of a piece of cigarette paper, then holds the folded paper between his index and middle fingers. Then he turns his body and the paper not only sticks to his middle finger but spins.

Voila! A “finger propeller.” It looks rather magical and is a lot of fun to try too, but certainly not easy to do. Yet it’s easy to see how children would respond to such fun antics, especially from a guy with a bulbous red nose and an infectious smile.

Iskandar is a clown, but not just any clown. He is, in fact, a hospital clown who is dedicated to entertaining sick children in hospitals. The finger propeller is just one of the many tricks he learned in his years of study to perfect his act. Iskandar, a senior executive with the National Cancer Council (Makna), has been into hospital clowning since 2002, and back then he was completely self-taught.

“I used to visit the children in the hospitals who were cancer patients,” says the 30-year-old. “I realised they live in an environment that is scary and boring. I tried to find ways to entertain them, and I did my own research into how to address the issue. At first I was interested in the concept of using art in health, such as murals. But I realised it's not interactive.”

As he went along, he discovered the concept of clown doctors, how the Big Apple Circus in New York has its own clown care unit with performers wearing doctor's uniforms and red noses.

“But they are not doctors,” says Iskandar. “They're just there to entertain the children. From there I began to get to know more. I knew if I wanted to do it, I would have to learn how to be a clown.”

At a hospital in Laos, where he went as a volunteer worker, he learned the valuable lesson that clowning was a universal language that broke down all barriers.

“The American doctors there told me they had these kids from the mountains,” Iskandar explains. “Since the kids didn't even speak Laotian, the doctors didn't know how to cheer them up. My first clown costume consisted of a red nose that I got from a friend in Malaysia, a skullcap with polka dots, and shoes with stickers. And that was my first time clowning. But it was fun.”

In 2003, he went to the University of Wisconsin in the US to study the concept of caring clowns. He attended the one-week clown camp, learned how to use props and mingled with those who had done hospital clowning.

It was there that he discovered his clown persona, Dr Bubbles, because he loved to play with bubbles when he was clowning. But he quickly realised that if he relied solely on props, he would very soon run out of ideas. He decided to delve even deeper into the art of clowning.

“After 2003, I went to the US again to study theatre clowning with Avner Eisenberg,” he reveals. “He's one of the master clowns and teachers of physical comedy. So I enrolled myself in his course called Eccentric Performing at the Celebration Barn theatre. I went there under the Ministry of Arts and Heritage grant and also Makna. I was there for two weeks, and that was the first time I performed in front of people.”
At the end of the course, the participants had to present their act in front of a paying audience. Dr Bubbles’ act involved trying to eat a peanut butter sandwich, which had fallen to the floor, without getting off his stool.

“Avner taught us that clowning is not about being funny,” Iskandar explains. “Instead, we have to focus on what we're doing. If we face a problem on stage, we focus on that problem. But the process of overcoming that problem is what makes the audience laugh. In fact, when the audience laugh, it is also an interruption that you have to deal with.”

In fact, he was so focused on his performance that he did not realise the audience was laughing, until people told him about it after the show. Clowning is not about making balloons, funny faces or falling down, he says. It is about interacting with the audience in an honest way. He says to get on stage, a clown has to even ask for the audience’s permission, what is known as “seeking complicity with the audience.” What he learned is theatre clowning, which does not necessarily require make-up.

“People will know you're a clown just by the way you behave and react,” he says. “For example, why do people love Mr Bean even when he doesn't wear make-up? And there are clowns who wear make-up but are not funny!”
But hospital clowning is very demanding, he says. One needs a big heart to do it because one is dealing with sick children.

“There are some very good clowns out there who lack the courage when it comes to hospital clowning,” says Iskandar. “And it is very difficult to work in a hospital because the environment is different and you're interacting with sick children. You will definitely be affected. You need a lot of courage to do it.
“One of the concepts that we learned in hospital clowning is that you have to be in the moment. You have to put your problems aside. You only return to the real world after the performance.”
Iskandar is a qualified chemical engineer but has never worked in that field. He has always been involved in volunteer work with NGOs.

Asked what it is he finds most rewarding about hospital clowning, Iskandar’s answer is obvious: “To see the children smile. You never get tired of it.”