Wish comes true for little 'Princess' with brain tumour
Five-year-old with brain tumour has dream fulfilled
Radiotherapy treatments took a toll on her mood, but the five-year-old was all smiles on Friday (March 17) when her wish to become a princess was granted.
Phang Shi En has medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumour.
On Friday, the Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore granted her wish of meeting ice queen Elsa from Disney film Frozen, as a princess.
Make-A-Wish worked with The Walt Disney Company and Feld Entertainment, the presenter of The Wonderful World of Disney on Ice, to grant Shi En's wish.
When she arrived at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, where the The Wonderful World Of Disney On Ice show was held, she was greeted with a "palace" - a tent with light blue, white and silverdecorations, and a pile of Frozen toys and merchandise.
After a "princess makeover" where she had her face painted, she was whisked away for a short ice-skating session in the arena.
A mini performance by Anna and Elsa was put on specially for her, and she got to meet both of them.
Shi En also watched The Wonderful World Of Disney On Ice.
Her mother, Ms Low Jia Wen, 27, was beaming the entire time as she watched Shi En's dreams come true.
The single mother told The New Paper: "I can see a difference in her smile. She is an only child and usually has no one to play with. She's truly happy today."
Shi En's brain tumour was discovered in November 2015.
She underwent surgery in April last year that removed 95 per cent of the tumour, but her speech and mobility were affected.
Ms Low said: "Shi En went through four rounds of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which was completed in November last year. Now, she is in the recovery stage and so far, she's doing well."
Adding that her daughter can watch Frozen up to three times a week, she said Shi En's collection of Frozen merchandise includes lunch boxes, water bottles, clothes and colouring books.
"This is a rare opportunity, and I'm grateful that Make-A-Wish approached us to grant her the wish," she said.
Tearing up, Ms Low, who works in logistics, said it was not easy for her to spend time with Shi En while being the sole breadwinner.
"My greatest regret is that I can't spend more time with her. My heart breaks when she asks me if I can come home earlier," she said.
"I just want her to grow up happy and appreciate those who love her."
One of the skaters, Miss Julianne Dimura, 25, said it was humbling to perform for Shi En.
She told TNP: "It is very upsetting to see someone so young, so sick."
Make-A-Wish Singapore chief executive officer Judy Lim said: "We are grateful to Disney for helping us create this magical life-changing wish experience, which we believe will leave a positive impact on Shi En and inspire hope, strength and joy in her battle for health."
How to help kids get their wish
The mission of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Singapore is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, to give them hope, strength and joy.
It has more than 200 volunteers, 10 board members and nine staff members.
Since Make-A-Wish was introduced to Singapore in 2002, the non-profit organisation has granted at least 1,274 wishes.
The foundation aims to reach every medically eligible child here, and has a target of 132 wishes this year.
But it faces difficulties receiving wish referrals due to low awareness on how to refer a child or on the eligibility criteria of the child.
To find out more, visit www.makeawish.org.sg
To refer a child to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org