Cancer-stricken Kao sings for strength

Cancer-stricken Kao sings for strength
Frankie Kao Ling-feng (above) with some of the more than 30 fans who turned up to greet him at the airport and at the press conference.

In his heyday in the 1970s and 1980s, Taiwanese singer Frankie Kao Ling-feng was known for his dance hits and energetic performances.

Now 63 years old and stricken with leukaemia, he is still singing. He performed on Saturday at Resorts World Convention Centre's Compass Ballroom, along with fellow veteran Taiwanese artists Shen Wen-cheng, Chang Ti and Yeh Chi-tien.

Talking to the local media yesterday at Hard Rock Hotel, he says of the concert: "During my periods of pain, it made me feel that I had something to do, and it gave me strength."

Wearing shades and a face mask which he later removed and sitting in a wheelchair, he sounded a little weak and coughed a few times during the interview.

He has undergone three rounds of chemotherapy since his diagnosis last year, and his doctor has recommended another round. But Kao says: "I don't believe I can still count on that to treat my illness."

Ultimately, he adds, neither he nor doctors can give a definitive answer to how he is doing because the cancer is not well understood.

What is undeniable is that Kao has dropped from 76kg to 57kg and his immune system is very weak.

Describing the amount of pain he has endured as a result of the illness, he says he has coughed until it even hurts to breathe and "when you sneeze, even your soul gets drawn away".

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