Student aces A-level exams despite cancer

SINGAPORE - He was diagnosed with colon cancer in his first year of junior college, which kept him away from school for four months.

But that did not stop Hwa Chong Institution student Ng Yi Pin from catching up with his studies. He also managed to find the time and energy to tutor his older twin brother, Yi Yang, who studied in the same school.

Yesterday, the 18-year-old scored eight As for his A levels. Yi Yang also made a marked improvement from his usual results.

Yi Pin was in Secondary 4 when he started feeling severe pain in his abdomen and noticed his physical strength deteriorating, he told evening daily Shin Min Daily News yesterday.

The following year, Yi Pin went to a polyclinic for a medical examination. The blood test showed that his haemoglobin level was less than half of what was considered normal, and he was immediately hospitalised for further tests.

The report came out a few days later with the bad news: He had stage 2 to 3 colon cancer, with a large tumour in his large intestine.

His mother cried for days, but Yi Pin fought the cancer with determination, believing that he would be fine once the tumour was removed.

He had surgery to remove the tumour in August 2013, followed by six months of chemotherapy. On top of feeling tired and nauseous, Yi Pin was unable to go to school for about four months.

Although he was given medical leave for each chemotherapy session, he made time for school, returning for classes in preparation for the A-level examinations.

Yi Pin, who wants to pursue studies in chemistry, has been accepted by the Imperial College London in Britain and has also won a scholarship from the National University of Singapore.

From a young age, he and Yi Yang have had different personalities.

Yi Pin, who is captain of the Hwa Chong Institution Chess and Bridge Club, told Shin Min that he has always been better than his twin in his studies, but Yi Yang is a frisbee expert and is interested in photography and design.

Yi Yang said that after his twin fell sick, he went to the hospital every two or three days to keep Yi Pin company, chatting and doing his own homework at the same time. When Yi Pin had more time to rest at home, he would give Yi Yang tuition.

Yi Yang said: "Because of this sickness, I've had more time with my brother and we've become much closer."

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