Sustaining the dignity of the dying

loading Volunteers, survivors and supporters making cards at Charis Hospice's Multi Activity Centre.

Cancer is a traumatic and painful experience for both patients and their families. However, with the right care and support, the situation can be very different indeed.

“I’m a stage four lung cancer patient. I know where I stand.” Those words were harrowing, but at the same time, Kelly’s* courage amazed me. I was volunteering at a photo exhibition event organised by Hospis Malaysia and Charis Hospice when I met her. While most people prefer to remain in denial about their illness, Kelly decided to deal with it head on.

She had dropped by the event to seek help for palliative care. “I have two young children,” Kelly said. “I know they will not know how to take care of me when the time comes. That’s why I am seeking help when I am still able. I want to expose my children and family to palliative care.” But what is palliative care?

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