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Good News: Malaysians Crowdfund RM9 Million For An Ailing Baby and 7 More Stories 

In a world where the news can often be disheartening, it’s important to take a step back and seek out stories that uplift and motivate us. That’s why we’ve curated a list of 8 inspiring stories that will remind you of the indomitable human spirit and the power of resilience. These stories are a beacon of hope, showcasing how individuals and communities overcome challenges and pursue their dreams against all odds.

#1: RM9 Million Crowdfunded For Medical Treatment of Wan Naail 

Wan Aslam Zakaria, the devoted father of 10-month-old Wan Naail Wan Aslam, has captivated hearts with his unwavering determination and love for his child. Wan Naail was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Type 1, a rare and life-threatening genetic disorder and he needed treatment. In the face of this daunting challenge, Wan Aslam took it upon himself to launch a crowdfunding campaign, seeking support for his child’s treatment expenses.

He embarked on a crowdfunding mission in collaboration with Misi Rakyat, a crowdfunding platform to raise RM9.28 million (USD$2.1 million) to obtain the groundbreaking Zolgensma one-off gene therapy injection. This treatment would help to prevent further motor neuron and muscle degeneration in Wan Naail. 

Source: Harian Metro

When Wan Aslam initiated the crowdfunding campaign in April 2023, he was uncertain whether the substantial sum required for his child’s treatment could be attained.

At first, we didn’t think it would be possible to raise that much money, but this unexpected help (through crowdfunding) made it possible. – Wan Aslam Zakaria[1]

The power of collective kindness and empathy prevailed. People from all walks of life joined hands to contribute to the cause. A viral video released on May 10th by the NGO, Misi Rakyat showcased the astonishing total donation of RM 9,088,404.

I hope this donation will help Naail get better and that he will grow up like other kids. Hopefully, when he grows up, he will do good for others. – Wan Aslam Zakaria [1]

#2: Senior Citizens And PwD Living In Shah Alam Have Better Public Transport To Healthcare Facilities

Accessible transportation is a fundamental right that empowers individuals with disabilities to fully participate in society and enjoy equal opportunities. When transportation accessibility is limited, it can have profound consequences for vulnerable communities, including senior citizens and Persons With Disabilities (PwD).

Recognizing the importance of accessible transportation, the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) has launched the MBSA Community Vehicles (Kenderaan Komuniti MBSA) initiative. This program invites senior citizens and individuals with an Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) card, residing in Shah Alam, to benefit from a free transportation service for medical treatment purposes.

Source: The Star

The initiative utilizes two specially modified vans designed to cater to the unique needs of the PWD community. Additionally, an accessible Proton Exora vehicle is available to transport elderly individuals.

Each van is equipped with a tail lift facility for wheelchair users as well as safety features such as seatbelts to ensure the wheelchairs don’t move when the vehicle is in motion. Shahrin Ahmad, MBSA corporate and public relations division head[2]

The service currently covers eight locations, including Hospital Shah Alam, Klinik Kesihatan Seksyen 7 Shah Alam, Klinik Kesihatan Seksyen 19 Shah Alam, Klinik Kesihatan Bukit Kuda Klang, Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Klang, Hospital Besar Sungai Buloh, Klinik Kesihatan Sungai Buloh, and the University of Malaya Medical Centre.

Source: The Star

#3: Health Hero, Soria Nordin Helps Rural Women Deliver Baby Safely 

Source: The Star

The 12th of May is International Nurses Day, a global occasion that honours and celebrates nurses’ contributions worldwide. One such nurse is Soria Nordin, 43, who has been stationed at the Kota Perdana Rural Clinic in Pahang for two years. Soria provides midwifery services to the Orang Asli community in the area. She travels more than 60km on a muddy palm oil plantation road by motorcycle to provide routine healthcare services as a community nurse. 

Working in an Orang Asli village is an indescribable experience because it may appear to be the same as going to a hospital in the city, but it’s completely different. – Soria Nordin[3]

With nearly two decades of experience under her belt, Soria has also served in various rural areas, including Felda settlements, where she encountered distinct and unique challenges. As a community nurse in the Orang Asli settlement, Soria understands the importance of building relationships and establishing effective communication channels with the community leader. She emphasizes the need for patience and continuous dialogue.

We must be patient and always communicate with Tok Batin (headman), we will not return until the case is resolved and we will keep trying. – Soria Nordin[3]

One of the most demanding aspects of Soria’s job involves conducting manual checks on patients in their homes, without the aid of advanced medical equipment. 

Attending birth at home can be quite a challenge…sometimes we have to go to areas that are only accessible by motorcycles. – Soria Nordin[3]

Sometimes she has to travel back and forth multiple times when monitoring the new mother and child, ensuring there are no complications. 

If a baby has yellow fever and needs to be treated at the Health Clinic, the challenge is that we have to convince the family and the patient to leave the house safely. – Soria Nordin[4]

#4: Security Guard Celebrated His Birthday After 8 Years In Malaysia

Blowing candles and having cakes is part of what makes birthdays special but as we grow older, the joyous occasion is just another day for many. For a security guard at Tune Talk, a telco company, it was 8 years without acknowledging the special day.

As part of their surprise, the staff members who have seen the responsible security take care of their office safety decided to celebrate his birthday. The employees got together with a cake and sang the infamous song.

Their kind gesture moved the security guard to tears.

It’s my first time celebrating my birthday in Malaysia, after 8 years of being here. – security guard [5]

#5: Home-Bound Retired Teacher Receives Unexpected Surprise 

On Teacher’s Day this year, Marziah Che Ok, a 66-year-old retired teacher received an unexpected surprise that lifted her spirits. In 2020, Marziah suffered a stroke and became paralysed after a fall at home. The incident resulted in Marziah being mostly homebound while trying to recover from her illness. 

Former students, whom she had last seen over a decade ago, organized a visit and presented her with thoughtful gifts. The unexpected reunion filled Marziah with deep gratitude and touched her heart.

I am very grateful for this sweet and unexpected reunion. I will pray for their success. – Marziah Che Ok[6]

Marziah was known for her strict yet dedicated approach to teaching, and it brings her immense pride and joy to witness the accomplishments and impact her students have made. 

I believe my greatest achievement was successfully guiding many students from underprivileged backgrounds to be successful in life. – Marziah Che Ok[6]

#6: Mother’s Day Cheer For A Single Mother

Michelle Ong, 33, found herself shouldering the responsibility of being the sole breadwinner for her family after her husband’s untimely passing in January. With her two young sons, aged three and six, to care for and a new baby on the way next month, Michelle has embarked on the journey of managing her newly-established online business while striving to save for the future.

Source: The Star

On Mother’s Day, Michelle’s spirits were uplifted when she received a heartwarming visit from Khairin-Nisa Ismail, the Johor women, family, and committee chairman, along with Ling Tian Soon, the state health and unity committee chairman. They arrived bearing flowers and a cake, bringing joy to Michelle’s day.

We wish to spread some cheer and motivation to the mother and children. –  Khairin-Nisa Ismail, Johor women, family and committee chairman[7]

In addition to the thoughtful gifts, financial aid from the Welfare Department will be extended to support Michelle’s sons and her soon-to-be-born daughter. This assistance aims to alleviate some of the burdens Michelle carries, especially as she prepares for the upcoming delivery. 

We hope this will help to ease her burden and make her feel supported as she prepares herself for delivery next month. –  Khairin-Nisa Ismail, Johor women, family and committee chairman[7]

Michelle who currently lives with her father to manage expenses was deeply moved and motivated to keep thriving.  

This has motivated me to keep pushing on and working hard to provide for my family.– Michelle Ong[7]

The visit served as a reminder that she is not alone in her journey and that there are compassionate individuals who care about her well-being and success.

#7: Pint-Sized Nurul Izzah Defy Limitations To Pursue Her Tailoring Passion  

Meet Nurul Izzah Mohammad Asri, a remarkable 25-year-old who defies limitations and creates extraordinary things with her skilled hands. This Raya proved to be the busiest season for the pint-sized tailor.

I received countless requests, but dare not take in more orders for fear that I may not be able to complete them on time. So, I’ll stick with just 50 orders. I will only do alterations for the rest. – Nurul Izzah[8]

Even though she needs to stand on a chair to take measurements, Izzah takes immense pride in earning an income that benefits her family. While the number of orders may seem small, she is extremely grateful.

Although 50 orders seem little, I am glad that I am able to earn some money to help my family this festive season. I will not allow my physical disability to stand in my way. – Nurul Izzah[8]

In the past, Izzah aspired to become a chef after completing her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM). However, due to various limitations, she had to consider alternative paths. 

Discussing with her mother, they decided that tailoring would be a perfect fit for her. Starting with alterations and children’s uniforms, Izzah embarked on a journey that would change her life.

I had zero knowledge when I started. I followed a six-month tailoring course with KEMAS (Jabatan Kemajuan Masyarakat) to pick up the trade. – Nurul Izzah[8]

Now, Izzah’s biggest dream is to establish her own shop and hire more employees to accommodate the increasing demand for her creations. Committed to her craft, she recently completed a six-month short course ‘Program Khas Sukses Kursus Asas Kemahiran Seni Reka Fesyen’ and was offered an 18-month certificate course with Institut Kemahiran Perda (PERDA-Tech). Izzah sees this as just the beginning of her journey and expresses her gratitude to everyone who has supported her along the way.

Alhamdulillah, this is only the beginning. My dream is to set up my own shop and hire several people to assist me. I just want to thank everyone who has helped me in one way or another. – Nurul Izzah[8]

#8: ‘Speedy’ Shereen wins gold at SEA Games and smashes 30-year-old national women’s record

The recent conclusion of the SEA Games saw Malaysia achieve an impressive total of 176 medals, including 34 gold, 45 silver, and 97 bronze. Among the gold medalists was 25-year-old Malaysian runner Shereen Samson Vallabouy, who is based in the United States. Shereen’s victory marked a significant milestone as she became the first Malaysian woman in two decades to claim a gold medal.

I have been working hard to win the 400m gold since I first competed at the SEA Games in 2015. This makes the hard work all worthwhile. The training I have undergone in the US has also helped me improve, especially in terms of technique. – Shereen Samson Vallabouy[9]

Earlier this year, Shereen broke the 30-year-old national women’s 400m record in California earlier this year with a lightning fast time of 51.80 seconds at the St Mac Relays Invitational Elite competition on Friday, erasing Abdul Rabia Salam’s national record of 52.56 seconds set at the 1993 Asian Championships.

Explore our sources:

  1. The Star. (2023). Over RM9mil raised for baby with rare genetic disorder. Link 
  2. The Star. (2023). Free transport for disabled, senior citizens in Shah Alam to get medical treatment. Link
  3. The Star. (2023). Nurse goes beyond the call of duty to serve Orang Asli community. Link 
  4. Bernama. (2023). Kena halau pun kami pergi juga’. Harian Metro. Link 
  5. Amanda. (2023).Security guard shares that it was his first time celebrating his birthday after working in M’sia for 8 years. Waupost. Link
  6. A.M.Mukhtar. (2023). Blissful Teachers’ Day for retired teacher Marziah. New Straits Times. Link 
  7. X.Y. Yee. (2023). Mum gets a leg-up from the state. The Star. Link 
  8. A. Dermawan. (2023). Pint-sized tailor with big dreams. New Straits Times. Link
  9. A.Singh. (2023). Runner Shereen smashes 30-year-old national women’s record. New Straits Times. Link 
  10. F.D’Cruz. (2023). Super Shereen becomes fastest Malaysian woman over 400m. Free Malaysia Today. Link

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