Thursday, October 23, 2008

Leukaemia boy family seeks help

Yonam seated (infront) with his family at Sarawak Children Cancer Society centre at Jalan Maxwell.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING: The family of leukaemia-stricken Penan boy, Yonam Reman, is experiencing a torrid time living in the city while caring for him, and has turned to members of the public for a helping hand.
Their predicament is understandable because Yonam’s family comes from Long Napir, Ulu Limbang, a remote part of the state.
“If I am at my village, I do not have to face all the problems I am experiencing now because I have lots of relatives to give me a helping hand. But, here in the city, I have to shoulder all these burden,” lamented Yonam’s father Reman Paren.
Besides Reman, 48, his wife Limin Scot, 33, is also in town to care for their 14-year-old son. Accompanying them are their daughters Rosita,10, Christina, 8, and Era, 4. Tagging along is Reman’s niece Josephine Jiki,17.
They have been here since last August and are presently staying at the Sarawak Children Cancer Society’s premises. They are expected to be around for at least another six months.
Reman told Eastern Times yesterday that one of his biggest concerns now was having proper meals.
“The Cancer Society has been very nice to us, and provides us with certain provisions to prepare our meals. But we prefer to have our own cooking appliances, including gas and cooking stove, so that we can prepare our meals as and when we see fit.
“This is needed because my children go to school here, and they come back at odd hours,” he said.
On Yonam, who is a Form 2 student of SMK Limbang and a sports fanatic, Reman said he first suffered the illness when he was seven, and it recurred two months ago.
He added that doctors at the Sarawak General Hospital told him that he needed to be treated for another six months before being transferred to a hospital in Kuala Lumpur.
Reman, who is a farmer, said life in the city had been very tough for his family. His wife, Josephine, and himself had been taking turns to care for Yonam. Besides worrying about Yonam’s health, he had to send his two daughters to school at SK Batu Lintang.
“I cannot let my two daughters drop out of school as both of them have a future . I don’t want them to end up like me, who is not educated at all.
“In fact, I had also wanted to find work in the city, but because we have limited manpower to look after Yonam and the kids, I have to forgo the idea. Besides, my wife and niece are not familiar with Kuching,” he said.
Members of the public who wish to give Yonam’s family a helping hand can contact Eastern Times at 082-234 155.

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