Saturday, August 14, 2010

Special Appearance: Chew Hoong Ling, Author of I DON'T KNOW YOU BUT LET ME SAVE YOU

Today, I am honored to have Chew Hoong Ling, the author of I DON'T KNOW YOU BUT LET ME SAVE YOU, make her guest appearance here. It coincides with her book release today (Congratulations, Hoong Ling!) and I am happy to host her on my blog. I met her last year and again this year when we were both speakers at conferences (Marcus Evans 2009 and VMAC 2010). She donated 60% of her liver to save a 13-year-old girl, and she will be sharing about her book and most important of all, her mission to encourage fellow Malaysians and people from all over the world to pledge for organ donations.

Everyone, please help me in welcoming the brave and formidable Chew Hoong Ling!


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About the Book
It began with a mass email requesting for what I thought was a blood donation. When I found out that it was a request for liver donation instead, I did not stop but took steps culminating in my donating part of my liver to save the thirteen-year-old Lee An Qi who was suffering from liver cancer. My book tells the story of the physical, psychological and spiritual processes I went through from the moment I responded to that fateful email to post surgery and recovery.

There are three parts to this book. The first part is the story of my journey to save a life. This is for potential donors to learn about what to expect if they were to donate their liver. I did not have someone who could tell me about the process and I felt lonely in my journey. It is my hope that this book could be a guide to others. I shared about the procedures I went through, my experiences and how I felt along the way.

The second part of the book contains frequently asked questions about organ donation and related information. It is also useful to groups who are organizing organ donation campaigns. The third is the MOST IMPORTANT part. It contains forms for you to pledge to donate your organs after death. I hope every reader will pick up a pen and sign the pledge form.

Hurdles in the Making of the Book
I would like to add on this part because “About the Author” (at the bottom of this post) and “About the Book” is only a person and a material. I would like to focus on the “ACTION” of people signing the pledge forms to donate their organs after death.

In fact, in the printing of the book, the most expensive part is Part 3 because it contains three colored postcard-sized papers that are perforated and because of the cards, the book has to be bound manually. However, looking at the objective of the book that is to inspire ACTION, the extra effort and the extra costs are well worth it. I sincerely hope the book will help increase the number of organ donation pledges.

For your information, my case of donation—living UNRELATED donor (meaning a living donor donating organs to unrelated person)—is not encouraged in Malaysia. I only knew about this AFTER the surgery. I am not sure if this is not encouraged around the globe or just Malaysia being conservative. Therefore, although the book may have the objective of encouraging pledges (not donating while still alive), the Ministry of Health will never help me promote the book as a tool to help increase pledges. For this, it is only on my OWN initiative that I promote it in order to promote organ donation or vice versa. And since this is the case, I will tirelessly go anywhere to speak about my journey and story in the hope that listeners will pledge immediately or at least nudge them to really give thoughts to organ donation.

About the Author
Hoong Ling is a Malaysian who has actively advocated organ donation since secondary school. She is a committee member of the Organ Donation Public Awareness Action Committee under the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

Hoong Ling is an active speaker at local talks, forums, seminars and international conferences. She was a TV Presenter on Selamat Pagi Malaysia (Good Morning Malaysia), she emcees professionally and has made appearances on RTM, TV3, NTV7, ASTRO, Bernama TV, BFM 89.9, Sin Chew Jit Poh, The Star, The Sun and magazines such as Malaysian Women’s Weekly, Feminine, Money Compass, Singapore Women’s Weekly and ICON. Her writing has been published in The Star, The Sun, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, Money Compass and The Entrepreneur.

She was selected as a Youth Ambassador in 2003 and featured on Akhbar Mahasiswa while in college. She received the Selangor Youth Award 2006, Great Women of Our Time Award 2008 and Lions Clubs International District 308‐B1 District Governor’s Distinguished Service Award 2009.

This book marks another phase in her endeavor to persuade her fellow Malaysians, and humanity at large, that we may pass away but our body parts can continue to give life to others.

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To read Hoong Ling's story firsthand, please visit her blog at hoong ling de experience. She is also sharing with us a post in memory of An Qi, the girl who received the liver donation. I hope you will read it.

With deep appreciation to Hoong Ling for sharing her story with all of us.

I ordered Hoong Ling's book a few weeks ago before its release and I am waiting for it to arrive. Hoong Ling has mailed it to me on Wednesday this week but it was delivered to my former office address, so I would need to make arrangement to collect it. I DON'T KNOW BUT LET ME SAVE YOU will be available online from MPH very soon.

Updated on August 15, 2010: Read her story on The Star newspaper today.