Friday, June 06, 2003

Em's note: If you only read one article today - make it this one and then go and do something nice for someone near you who you love.

Steven Ma has recently published a book entitled "I am the relative of a sick person". In real life, he himself was also the relative of a sick person as his own mother battled for 22 years against cancer. Some people say that where there is illness, there are no devoted sons, but this is not true for Steven as not only was he totally devoted to his mother, he also extends his concern to other patients as well. He knows that the patient's families are often overlooked, but bears the most pressure, so in writing his book, he hopes that we can all learn to look after others a little more.

With three renowned celebrities: Liza Wang, Siu Kam Chi (widow of Kiu Wan) and Alan Tam agreeing to write prefaces for the book, they each give him their precious opinions and share their personal feelings.

Liza Wang agreed to write her piece because she admires Steven's patient manner towards life as he takes each step in turn as has been shown in the strong foundations he has built his acting career on, so she feels that he will have put the same amount of preparation and commitment into writing his book. Also he will not do this for any cheap publicity stunt, but because he really has the devotion and sincerity towards the subject. Liza hopes that through the eleven stories in the book, people can be awoken to the people around us and the love that exists.

Steven admires Liza's professionalism to her work and her determined character, saying that he has learned a lot from working with her. He says he knows that Liza herself has had to battle against illness in the past but still works her hardest and it is this drive that he hopes Liza can express in her opinions.

When Steven approached Alan Tam for his opinions, Alan said that for something so charitable, then he was happy to help. He says that after reading the eleven stories, he felt like he had just drank a bowl of chicken soup for the soul as he really felt the feelings of the families. Alan is proud of Steven's ambassadorial spirit and says that although he is lucky not to have a terminally ill person in his family, he has an elderly father who requires just as much care and attention from his family and friends, which is the real moral behind the book.

Alan is the evergreen of HK's pop world and a great influential character in society. Steven sees him as the most respected of his seniors and he really appreciates Alan taking the time to read his work and offer his precious comments.

Siu Kam Chi is the widow of the late master Kiu Wang and a devout Christian who spent many years tending to her husband who had a heart condition. She wanted to share her experiences, but says that life wasn't so hard for her because her husband listened to the doctors advice. She says that if the patients themselves will do what the doctors say then this will help to put their families' minds at rest. She feels that for Steven to have the heart to write the book, he is like an angel spreading the word of love and she wanted to praise his dedication.

The eleven patients in Steven's book suffered from stroke, heart conditions, epilepsy and other terrible diseases and includes Steven's own story. The title comes from the feeling when the family are waiting outside the ward and the doctor emerges to ask who are the relatives of the patient, this stirs a great emotion and he feels it brings all these people together.

Steven's late mother started her battle with cancer when Steven was six years old and fought for 22 years against the disease. Only young at the time, it was only when he was at secondary school when he realised that his mother was being tortured by the illness. After some early operations, his mother's cancer returned six years before she died and as the advances in medicine were not as good then, she unfortunately lost her battle and died.

Whilst his mother lay in the grasps of illness, Steven was exposed to the warmth and cold of human nature as he saw the a loving mother who was sick in the next ward and how her children would come night and day to care for her with total filial devotion; whereas in the next room was a lady who was also ill, but her husband, mother-in-law and son never cared for her and only cared about the expense and when she would die, making Steven want to go an beat them up.

With all these stories, it has made Steven realise that although he has lost his mother, he is still a lucky man. Treasure the people around you, is not a concept that many will understand.


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