Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bells Jingled At Epilepsy Support Group Gathering
Updated: 09-01-2008, 03:44:50

Christmas is a time to be jolly and merry. It is also a time to bring cheer, joy and meaning to others. Members of the epilepsy support group under the guidance of Dr K S Lim were supposed to have their year end once-a-month meeting in University Hospital, also known as, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) on the 5th Floor at 2pm on Saturday, 29th December 2007.

Since the meeting date had fallen on a day sandwiched between Christmas and Happy New Year, I thought it would be ideal to seize the opportunity to celebrate belated Christmas with my fellow members in the support group. Dr Lim was in favour of my idea too.

The day came and all of us met on the 12th Floor of Menara Utama, UMMC. I invited my friends, five of them, all members of Lions Club of PJ Metro to join in the gathering too. I personally deemed it appropriate to introduce my Lions friends to members of the support group as well as Dr Lim.
Lions Club of PJ Metro also has an epilepsy project as one of its various types of community services to members of the public. Shirley and Terry, the chairperson of epilepsy division had read about Dr Lim's recent interview in Sin Chew Jit Poh Chinese press concerning epilepsy. They wanted to meet Dr Lim in person and also to find out more about epilepsy.

There were about 30 of us in the Christmas gathering. Terry, also the guitarist together with his Lions friends played and sang Christmas carols to the delightfulness of everyone. We sang and clapped along to the lively tempo of evergreen Christmas carols. Jason who is 15 years old, an autistic, sang joyfully and clapped excitedly to the beat of Jingle Bells.

Epilepsy Support Group Members

Four trainee doctors on the left with two Lions Club members on the right

After the singing session, Dr Lim made all of us sit in a circular arrangement. He wanted everyone to play "PASS THE PARCEL AROUND" game. The music started and stopped intermittently. Ten members (the ones who had small gifts in their hands after the music stopped) were asked and challenged to display funny cute poses, tell a story and share a joke.

Cute poses, tell a story and share a joke session

A caregiver telling everyone her hopes for the new year

With the year coming to an end, all of us were asked to voice our hopes for the new year to come. I had hoped the support group will grow strong in membership strength. I highlighted the saying that went like, "A ship with only a good captain on board will not be able to set sail but a ship with a team of dedicated and hardworking crew on board will set sail and complete its voyage successfully.

I also urged the members to be epilepsy ambassadors. Everyone has a role to play actively when it comes to spreading words/information regarding epilepsy. Discussions are not to be confined within the four walls of the meeting room only. Knowledge about epilepsy ought to be shared and spoken frequently like an everyday language of PWE (People With Epilepsy).

Light refreshments were provided by Dr Lim and members as well as Lions Club of PJ Metro members. We had an array of food in abundance. It was indeed a great Christmas blessing we acknowledged as coming from God. While we cope with our epilepsy and caregivers attempt to do and provide the best care for their children, we must take comfort that in various and assorted ways majority of us fare better in living a normal life (minimal seizures controlled with medication) compared to people who are stricken with incurable and life taking ailments like lupus, HIV Aids and terminal cancer.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008 to everyone! May the year 2008 signify a good, eventful and fruitful year for PWE and caregivers here and everywhere in the world.

Article written by Serene Low

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