“Yes people stare, but there’s no point dwelling on whether the world will accept me, or else I will lose out. Once I accept what I have, I set out to achieve greater things. My passion makes me believe there’s nothing I can’t do.”
Goh Kee Choon is a familiar figure in SPD. He is an avid photographer and a full-time social worker.
Kee Choon was not born with a disability. Back in his polytechnic days, mountain biking, cycling and soccer were his favourite sports. However, what initially felt like a muscle pull in his left thigh worsened in a year and affected his activities. He could not participate in sports as often and it got so bad that it affected his walking as well. He consulted a specialist and was told that he had a tumor growing at the femur around his left hip. After the biopsy, the doctors delivered the shocking news that he had cancer. He was only 19 then. The news shocked and devastated him.
A sample of the tumor was sent to a renowned clinic in the United States for testing. After one week of waiting and refusing to believe that he had cancer, the report from the United States came and the tumor, though aggressive, was found to be non-cancerous. However, things did not go well after that. After the first tumor was removed, it recurred and the surgery site would not heal and was constantly infected. He went in and out of the hospital, and had one surgery after another. This went on for more than 10 years, a period Kee Choon describes as being on a roller coaster ride.
While Kee Choon now gets around using a pair of crutches, he is not any less agile than many of us. He never gave up on life. “Being alive is the most fortunate. Make the best out of it!” Kee Choon would always say with heartfelt conviction.
Photography is a great motivation for him. “The beauty of photography is that each photo tells its own story.” He recalled reading books on photography on his hospital bed and kept telling himself, “I want to get back to this.” In the last few years, he went on photography trips to China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan. In 2016, he held a photo exhibition at Millenia Walk together with a few friends who shared the same passion.