Six years ago, Mr Ng Bee Kia's doctor found a tumour below his right nostril.
While the tumour was later found to be benign and eventually removed, Mr Ng still remembers the fear he felt for a week before the diagnosis was confirmed.
To raise awareness of the importance of cancer research, Mr Ng, 76, and three friends are participating in the Run for Hope 2021, an annual run organised in support of the National Cancer Centre Research Fund.
The run is organised by The Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS).
Describing that week as a "trying time emotionally", Mr Ng said that experience has helped him empathise with others who have gone through similar or worse experiences.
The retired deliveryman said in Mandarin: "It's very important to me to have this kind of research. Although it was a health scare, no one wants it to be real and if it's really malignant, you would want to know that there's good treatment out there to give you hope."
Run for Hope 2021 ends on Dec 26 with participants signing up to run in three different categories - 2.8km, 10km and 28km.
Supporters can also pledge an amount to different participants or teams on the Run for Hope website. Over $98,000 has been raised so far.
Mr Ng and one of his teammates Ngai Hin Kwok will be taking part in the 2.8km category, but Mr Ngai might attempt the 10km as well.
Mr Ngai, 72, lost his mother and and older brother to liver and lung cancer respectively. He could not attend his mother's funeral in China because of visa-related complications as he was in Hong Kong when his mother died in 1981.
The jeweller wants to support Run for Hope's cause while encouraging people of all ages to stay fit.
He said: "Even if you're old, just do basic exercises or just go walking. I hope that when people see us 70- and 80-year-olds still exercising, young people will know that they can do it too."
Run for Hope first started 28 years ago and aims to increase awareness and garner support for cancer research.
This "helps to increase our understanding of the disease, so that new ways of diagnosing and treating cancer can be discovered", said NCSS medical director William Hwang.
"We deeply appreciate the support of every participant and supporter of Run For Hope. The strong support we've seen has enabled our clinicians and scientists to undertake innovative cancer research to discover better treatments, improve disease detection, and give patients affected by cancer hope and a better quality of life.
"Exercise is a fun and bonding activity that promotes good health and well-being for all ages and fitness levels. We hope to have even more community support and participation at the Run For Hope this year."
You can support the campaign and its participants by visiting their website.
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