No Regrets

“My grandmother passed away the year I took my A-levels. I found her the morning she died, went into a state of shock and spent the entire day just sitting beside her bed. She was my surrogate mum for many of my growing up years as my parents had divorced when I was four years old. Like many others, I was a mischievous teenager. Once, when my grandmother was disciplining and scolding me, she said in Cantonese, ‘I don’t know what I have done to deserve a granddaughter like you.’ It made me regret having caused her heartache and grief.

She was a very strong lady — a samsui  (construction labourer) woman, then a rubber cutter, a no-nonsense person, very determined and focused on getting things done. She never shared with us how hard it was. Her death made me realise we have to cherish life and the old folks around us. She passed away in 1997 yet, some days when I wake up, I don’t feel like she’s gone. Meanwhile, running has become a part of my life since 2006, the idea of raising funds for the elderly came to me when I started work on running a marathon on every continent — it was something I thought my grandma would be proud of. I came across the Tsao Foundation online and identified with its vision and goals. Moreover, there was an amazing resonance as it was established by the grandmother of the Foundation’s current president. I’ve set a target of S$35,000 and fundraising is scheduled to end after I complete the Antarctica marathon on 20 November.

I am doing this in honour of my grandmother, wherever she is. Besides pursuing my dreams and seeking to live without any regret, I hope also to inspire the younger generation, like my younger siblings who are still in school.”

Yvonne Chee
Civil servant and marathon runner

More about Yvonne Chee’s fundraiser for the Tsao Foundation at www.yvonne7marathons7continents.com


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