Actors remember actress Tiffany Leong, 30, who died of liver cancer
Former Mediacorp actress Tiffany Leong, 30, dies of liver cancer
She is with the angels now.
That's what former Mediacorp actor Zen Chong said of Malaysian-born actress Tiffany Leong, who died at the age of 30 on Monday.
Chong, 37, was speaking to The New Paper yesterday from Kuala Lumpur, where he was attending the actress' wake.
He recalled how Leong had helped him when he was in Malaysia with no personal transport.
"She lent me her car for a few days without any hesitation," said Chong.
Leong was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2013 and underwent surgery to remove 60 per cent of her liver in early October the same year.
She took a break to recuperate before returning to filming in Malaysia early this year.
The former Mediacorp actress had appeared in Singapore and Malaysia productions such as Priceless Wonder (2010), Code Of Honour (2011) and Mind Games (2015).
Leong was also nominated for the Top 10 Most Popular Female Artistes at the 2011 Star Awards.
She suffered a relapse and was admitted to hospital on Christmas Eve.
Her family shared news of her death on her Facebook page on Monday evening, saying she had passed away peacefully.
Chong, who has acted with Leong in more than five dramas since 2007, drove from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to visit her in hospital.
Actors Zhang Yaodong, Cai Pei Xuan and Tracy Lee also visited her.
Chong said: "She looked very pale and weak and she was very happy to see us. She started crying when she saw me and I said, 'Don't cry, silly girl'.
"She had no energy to talk, and spoke in soft whispers, but she tried to keep her eyes open so that she could talk to us."
Chong said that the group entertained her with gossip to lighten the atmosphere, which made her smile.
He said: "She also whispered something, but I couldn't hear her at all. She then shouted really loudly, 'I want to eat cake!'
"We told her that when she recovers, we will take her out to feast on good food.
"Who knew that when she fell asleep after an injection, she (would) never wake up..."
Local veteran actress Xiang Yun, who played Leong's mother in 2010 Channel 8 drama Priceless Wonder, told TNP: "She was very well-mannered and nice to work with. Every time she came on set, she would come up to me and call me 'Mum'."
The 54-year-old added: "She studied film productions in school, she had a bright future ahead of her. It's such a pity that she passed away. I feel very sad."
Other artists also paid tribute to Leong on social media.
Andie Chen wrote: "I've always been in awe of your hard work. It has been tough on you during this period, rest in peace."
Ann Kok wrote: "You will always be the sensible, cheerful and happy little princess in my heart. Rest in peace, love you."
She started crying when she saw me, and I said, 'Don't cry, silly girl'.
- Former Medicorp actor Zen Chong on visiting Tiffany Leong in the hospital at KL
About liver cancer
Liver cancer is the 4th most common cancer in Singapore.
There are between 400 to 500 new cases of liver cancers seen a year in Singapore, said Professor Pierce Chow, co-director of the Comprehensive Liver Cancer Clinic at the National Cancer Centre Singapore.
Despite this, it is quite uncommon for people under aged 30 to have liver cancer, he added.
"Most primary liver cancers arise on a background of hepatitis B or C and become more common only after 40 years old. Very early liver cancers may have a genetic basis," said Prof Chow.
Treatment for liver cancer, which includes surgery, radio-frequency ablation and a liver transplant, depends on the stage of the cancer, the underlying function of the liver and the general health of the patient.