The Roaring Team of Lions Hope Brigade and the Beautiful Lions Wonderland as background.
Lions all over the world have been looking for ways to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and create awareness about it. This can be challenging given that it is a new global cause that Lions have embraced following the call by Lions Clubs International to serve the cause of childhood cancer.
Our goal was to create better fighting chances for children battling cancer.
There is a saying that goes, “Love is the cause and result of energy.” Lions in District 308B1 have been working hard for the cause of childhood cancer, motivated by the district vision, “Serve with Heart.” This vision has been a successful force as we see love pouring in to raise funds for gifts of hope to childhood cancer patients, our little heroes.
As part of our service, we are visiting cancer wards, donating hair, funding medical costs and creating awareness campaigns. We have also chosen to create environments of peace and smiles for children with cancer as a gift with the hope of cheering them up while they are fighting their battles.
District Governor Dato Javern Lim and Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community officiating the Lions Wonderland.
Ronald McDonald House (RMH) had 19 rooms specially built for short-term stays and is a home away from home for children undergoing treatment in Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM). Being a non-government organization, funds were needed to upgrade the facility, like repair the leaking roof and build a playground.
Through social media and chat groups, our district stressed the need for funds for the purpose of providing a conducive environment to children with cancer and their families staying at RMH. A committee comprised of 38 Lions from various clubs was set up to look into replacing the leaking roof, constructing an event area with a metal deck and build a brand-new playground called Lions Wonderland.
We called our team the Lions Hope Brigade, and, as the name suggests, our goal was to create better fighting chances for children battling cancer, and, through the support of Lions, we want to put smiles on their faces amidst all the pain and suffering they are going through. As soon as the plan was announced, Lions in our district geared up to raise funds for the Lions Hope Brigade by organizing club fundraising projects. We received donations through a variety of channels.
Lions Wonderland caught the attention of many people as the vibrant Lion colors and modern design attracted children living in RMH to spend their time relaxing and enjoying the outdoors there. There is plenty of laughter and giggles now since Lions Wonderland was created.
We have received numerous invitations from RMH for parties that involved the children and their families at the event area before the whole country was locked down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). No words can begin to describe the joy we feel knowing how this event area brings so much happiness to our little heroes and imagining their big smiles when they blow out the candles on their birthday cakes.
This project was officiated by the Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development during its official launch on 14 February 2020. We may have completed the project at the RMH, but Lions Hope Brigade will continue to create and bring meaningful gifts to children with cancer.
One of my favorite sayings by Helen Keller pertains to our service to these children: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
Lion Stella Foo is a member of the Kuala Lumpur City Lions Club and chairperson for Childhood Cancer of District 308B1 Malaysia.