Shorn in a show of compassion
Shorn in a show of compassion

Shorn in a show of compassion

Ex-nurse and family shed their locks in bid to raise RM100k for hospice’s new facility

GEORGE TOWN: When former nurse Anne Denise Choon heard that a charitable organisation needed funds for a new palliative care facility dedicated to the homeless and non-cancer patients, she knew she had to help.

The 62-year-old and her family decided to help raise part of the RM10mil needed to build the facility, a few blocks away from the Pure Lotus Hospice of Compassion at Jalan Utama.

On Chinese New Year Day, Anne, her husband Dr Jonathan Choon and their second daughter Aimee Choon, 30, all shaved their heads bald at the hospice in an attempt to raise RM100,000 for the new facility which will be called Pure Lotus Home of Compassion.

So far, they have collected RM37,000 but Anne was optimistic that her family could achieve their target of getting RM100,000.

ALSO READ: Hospice seeking RM10mil to build new centre

“I hope our effort will be followed by others to raise the funds needed,” she said.

“I have been volunteering for so many years with palliative care patients, especially those stricken with cancer.

“After so many years, I feel there are also old people who are sick and homeless. They have no one to care for them,” she said yesterday.

Anne Denise said that as a former nurse, she felt that it was important to help the homeless. Their shaved hair would also be donated to make wigs for cancer patients, said the mother of four.

Anne Denise, who is Irish, said she felt compelled to help when she heard that the Pure Lotus Hospice of Compassion wanted to construct another building specially for non-cancer patients and the homeless.

Asked why she chose to do so during Chinese New Year, Anne Denise explained that all of her children were back for holidays and she felt it was the perfect time to do it.

Penang Pure Lotus Hospice of Compassion founder Venerable Lyan Shih is hoping to have a new centre focused on providing end-of-life care for those who needed help, other than cancer patients.

“The existing one that we have here is for end-of-life cancer patients.”

She said priority would be given to the underprivileged, homeless and single.

The centre, she said, would also take in people who have families but who may not know how to provide end-of-life care to them.

Lyan Shih said that so far, the organisation had raised RM3mil from various activities .

The current centre can have up to a maximum of 21 beds while the new building will have another 27 beds.

She also thanked the Choon family for being so helpful.

Formed in 2001, Pure Lotus Hospice is a non-profit organisation which offers round-the clock palliative care by doctors and nurses.

It has started a campaign called “Building Bricks” for Home of Compassion for the new building.

Those who wish to donate to Pure Lotus Society Hospice of Compassion can do so via Public Bank (4-4014874-05) or Pure Lotus Cancer Foundation at CIMB bank (86-0095827-0). For details, visit donation.purelotushospice.com.

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