At the age of 66, Mr Lai is the main caregiver to his wife and elder daughter. His wife, 59 years old, suffers from depression, bipolar as well as mild mental disorder. His 34-year-old daughter suffered from a severe virus attack on her legs when she was just a child. Over the years, she has undergone numerous surgeries. However, the doctors are unable to determine the cause of the virus attack, and even till now, she still faces mobility issues. She heavily relies on crutches to move around and is currently attending physiotherapy weekly at the hospital. His younger daughter, 31 years old, who has moved out of their 3-room flat is also struggling to make ends meet.
Every day without fail, Mr Lai starts work at 5am as a grasscutter at a country club. To save on his transport costs, he cycles to work as early as 3am as it takes more than an hour to reach his workplace. When ROHI visited him at his home, he had just ended work and was preparing his meals. His daily meal comprises of a simple vegetable dish, canned sardine and on days that he craves for anything more, he would add in preserved sausages. To him, this lavish meal is more than sufficient to last him for two days. The 66-year-old elderly is reluctant to spend his hard-earned money on himself and always chooses to prioritize his family over himself, no matter how physically and emotionally tired he may be at the end of each day.
Even with the little that he earns each month, Mr Lai continues to support his elder brother who has health issues and is unable to work to support himself. Mr Lai faces an estranged relationship with his other siblings and rarely keep in touch with them. Mr Lai lamented that although there were times when he felt like giving up, but he would choose to think about his family members and how they keep him going even during the trying times.
Quoting Mr Lai, “No matter how misunderstood I may be feeling, they are still my siblings. I cannot force them to accept my lifestyle. But as long as I am earning money the honest way, let it be. I am thankful that I am healthy at my age and I am still able to work to support my family”.
ROHI would like to raise S$900 (S$300 per month for three months) to help defray Mr Lai’s groceries and living expenses while he applies for financial assistance from the Social Service Office (SSO) as it is likely to take a few months to be processed. Your kind contribution will go a long way towards lightening Mr Lai's financial burdens.
12 Apr 2018
Thank you donors for donating generously!
Thank you to all the donors who have donated generously to Mr Lai's fundraiser campaign! We will visit him for his cheque disbursement at the end of the month and update you! As we only targeted to raise $900 for him, the excess funds will be channeled to other beneficiaries of ROHI whose fundraisers are still behind target.