Cancer-stricken man dedicates recovery to girlfriend

Cancer-stricken man dedicates recovery to girlfriend

Girl hates boy. But they fall in love. Then he gets cancer and is given three months to live.

Miss Sherry Chia said wryly: "Sounds like a movie plot or a TV drama, right?"

But this is real life for the 31-year-old senior constituency manager at Pasir Ris Community Centre.

She told The New Paper yesterday: "I used to laugh at how unrealistic these plots were. And how it would never happen to me."

"But this is my life now."

After three years of dating, her boyfriend, Mr Alan Yap, 36, was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer shortly after Valentine's Day last year.

The couple first met in 2011 when Mr Yap was her boss.

It wasn't love at first sight.

"I hated him because I was working so much - seven days a week - when he was my boss. And he never smiled," said Miss Chia.

But after she was transferred, she began to see Mr Yap for who he really is - a kind, caring and loving person.

They had planned to get married last year. But that was put on hold after he was told by his doctor that he had just three months to live.

CAPTURED HEARTS

Almost a year later, Mr Yap is still alive and their love has captivated thousands of people, including Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam.

Mr Yap, an assistant director at the People's Association (PA), has written a long declaration of his love for Miss Chia, which ends with a marriage proposal.

It has been seen almost 150,000 times on citizen journalism website Stomp, where it was posted as part of its ongoing Love Stories contest for Valentine's Day.

Mr Shanmugam shared the post on his Facebook page and it has received more than 3,000 likes and 290 shares.

Mr Yap had previously worked under Mr Shanmugam and helped out with community activities in Nee Soon GRC, where the latter is an MP.

Mr Shanmugam wrote: "A really emotional story from Alan... He is an exceptional person. Very committed."

When Mr Yap found about his illness, he was devastated.

The divorce with two young children had always thought that Miss Chia deserved better.

"She certainly didn't deserve to have to be stuck with me when I couldn't even promise her a future," he said.

So he told Miss Chia that she could leave him. But she refused.

"I couldn't leave him. It was so tough seeing him so weak and my only thought was for him to recover. The only thing I knew I had to do was to be there for him," she said.

"I wanted him to recover because I wanted to be married to him."

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