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Stepping Up to the Challenge
29 October 2021

Above: For late HCA patient Mr Pang Kim Suan (third from right), climbing stairs allowed him to escape confined spaces and keep fit, but for his son Victor (third from left), embarking on the HCA Vertical Challenge 2021 is a meaningful way to honour his late father’s memory.

By Sherilynn Loh, HCA Community Relations

While most of us, eager to get to our destinations, get into lifts without a second thought, the late Mr Pang Kim Suan would shudder at the thought of being trapped in such a confined space.

“He was claustrophobic,” explains his son, 58-year-old Victor Pang. The fear of tight spaces took centre stage most of his life, but a love for being active, provided an escape for the elder Pang.

“My father was a sportsman — a swimmer in his younger days. He inspired my brother and I to be active as well,” Victor shares.

“Every day, he would climb up and down to get to his flat on the 8th floor. Even when he moved to his new home on the 15th floor, he would still climb without fail.”

One of Victor’s fondest memories of his 81-year-old father, was a family getaway they enjoyed together, on a cruise.

Kim Suan’s love for being active never took a day off, until his health went on a downward spiral following his retirement at 60.

Care in the Comfort of Home

Afflicted with various conditions such as colon cancer, diabetes, leukaemia and a weakening bowel system, Kim Suan required a seemingly endless slew of medications and treatments. The process took its toll on Kim Suan and left him home-bound at the end of life. Victor and his family were later introduced to HCA Hospice Care, for our home hospice and equipment loan services.

“The team at HCA was very open and friendly. I am very thankful for the equipment loan service. It was such an easy process and I did not have to buy any equipment, for my father to be taken care of at home.”

At HCA, our home equipment loan services to needy patients, are provided at no charge*, allowing patients like Kim Suan, to receive care in the comfort of his home, without the additional  burden of equipment costs.

Stepping Up in Remembrance

The late Kim Suan was a quiet and reserved man, who only spoke up for a good cause—supporting the underprivileged. Even at the end of his life, his father was still concerned about their helper, who was from a disadvantaged background.

“My father had a soft and kind heart and was always concerned about the underprivileged. He could not keep his money and he kept giving it away, by buying necessities for them or giving it to them,” says Victor.

Three years after his father had passed, a church friend and HCA volunteer reached out to Victor about the HCA Vertical Challenge 2020. “It was a different type of activity compared to the usual marathons and I thought it would be a good way to remember my father.”

For the late Kim Suan, climbing stairs helped him escape his fear of confined spaces. But for Victor, it was a challenge, that allowed him to honour his father’s heart for charity and love for exercise.

Last year, Victor ascended a 19-storey HDB block several times to achieve his target of 200m. In a bid to up the ante for 2021, Victor will attempt to climb a 47-storey block at least five times, potentially achieving 650m in vertical gain.

“This (end-of-life) journey is something we all have to go through, so while we are still healthy and have the ability, we should contribute in all ways and provide support and help to those who are living their last days,” encourages Victor.

HCA Vertical Challenge 2021

If you would like to #StepUpForHCA together with Victor and our other participants, you may do so by signing up or donating in support of the event here: https://events.hca.org.sg

The HCA Vertical Challenge 2021 takes place from Sunday, 10 October to Sunday, 12 December 2021. Participation is free. However, participants are encouraged to raise at least $300 per person, to fund one home visit. A finisher pack will be awarded to participants who raise the minimum fundraising amount (Individuals = $300 / Teams = $300 X no. of members) and complete the challenge.

Upon registration, participants will receive a reusable face mask and a Skechers discount voucher worth $60 by mail (while stocks last). Sign up today!

*subject to a refundable deposit of $100