Mas essay competition 2008

MAS-ESS essay competition: overwhelming response this year

Es por ello que la lucha continua, para poder proteger a otros que inician este recorrido. Planeo incidir con mi carrera, no solo para poder sensibilizar a nuestras autoridades, sino convertirme en una autoridad; y sobre todo, para llevar esperanza a otros que ya la han perdido. Esta es mi historia, la luz en medio de la oscuridad. I will never forget those hard days. On the outside, everything was going great, but just below the surface, inside my little body, a tiny deformation in my bone marrow was changing my cells.

At ten years old, I was just getting started on the grand journey of life. I was given test after test, I was tired of feeling sick, and every night, the pain in my bones kept me awake. I lay in bed in a white hospital room. That bed was witness to my suffering as I lay in the dark of night and felt my heart race.

I knew it was bad.

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And I was afraid. The doctors gave a first and last name to the deformation; they told me it was called acute lymphoblastic leukemia type B. That tiny deformation transformed my existence. All I wanted to do was go back to being that girl full of energy who could go to school, complain about her homework, and play with her brothers and sisters, especially little Joyce.


I would have done anything to be back by her side, but I knew it would be a slow process, because the hospital I was admitted to did not have a hematology department. The way it worked was that the more pain you were in, the quicker they gave you care. If your condition was really serious, the doctors would come right away. The cancer devastated my family. March and April were the hardest months.

It seemed like they would never end. In May, I resigned myself to staying in the hospital forever. After four long months, I could finally hold my little sister in my arms again.

Little Joyce was my motivation to get better. She was special to me. And there was someone else who stayed by my side, who always held my hand, and who would always be there for me, even if I threw a thousand tantrums: my mother.

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We promised to fight every day. Every sunrise was a victory, because it meant I was still alive. When they transferred me to a hospital that had a hematology department and where we knew things would be better, my world got a little bigger, because I met a lot of other children who were between three and eight years old who had the same diagnosis. The patients fighting leukemia all stayed on the third floor of the pediatrics department.

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  • If my little friends could make it, so could I. But the challenges were many. The most serious problem was finding blood and platelet donors.

    My mother managed to find some friends who could donate their love to me. But not all my friends were so fortunate. The competition required the students to provide in-depth analysis of the factors underlying the trends in income distribution in Singapore, with particular attention given to widening gaps between different groups, and the consequences of these widening gaps.


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    The essays were also judged for demonstrating breadth and depth in discussing policy options to meet present and future challenges. Mr Lee also shared his views on how Singapore had navigated the challenges she had faced through the years, what are some of the key challenges ahead, and how Singapore can continue to thrive. A total of entries were received, more than double the number received last year. This is evident of the growing interest among students to analyse and debate pertinent socioeconomic issues.