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Hate blog memes, but when Sharon tagged me for this one, it was a more than welcome opportunity to write about Yvonne Foong.

I met her at Seksan’s readings, and like most others, at first I only saw a pretty, diminutive girl. It was only when I heard her speak, and realized that the only way to communicate efficiently with her was by scribbling huge letters on a small slate, did I appreciate the life and sheer grit of this fine young lady.

When I wrote on her slate, “You are very brave, and an inspiration”, she wrote back, “We are all full of courage, we only have to find it.”

This, from someone who almost lost her smile, has lost her hearing and now faces losing her sight, too. Read more about her here, and hear her speak on video.

She is scheduled for an operation between 1 and 4 December 2009. But of course she has to raise the funds by herself. The cost of surgery is USD44,000 or RM154,770, and the cost of staying in hospital for two weeks is USD915 or RM3219.

She has raised about RM10,000 of this and is hoping to raise the rest by republishing her book I’m Not Sick; I’m Just a Bit Unwell in English and Chinese. The books are now available in Malaysian bookshops and from her web site store. She is also selling T-shirts at bazaars and via her web site store. You can read about her surgery and donate to her fund here.

Yvonne has stayed strong despite her physical condition, maintaining her website, her blog, and her store, as well as showing up at fundraising gigs with the help of a few dedicated friends. She says this about why she needs funds:

Why I need to raise funds NF tumors and the problems they cause require expert medical care. Unfortunately, I am uninsured while the Malaysian government lack the expertise and technology required to care for people with this genetic disorder. My father is unfit to work after a brain hemorrhage more than ten years ago. My mother’s job is just enough to get us by So I need to organize fundraising campaigns to pay for my own healthcare locally and abroad. Inexperienced surgeons and poor treatments can leave me in a very bad shape. Already, my mother has to take care of dad and the household. I cannot add more burden to the family.

You can also help by sending on this meme. If you do, please follow these meme rules:

1. Create a blog entry titled “Meme: Save Yvonne’s Sight”
2. List three things you love to see. Add in the picture of Yvonne’s book cover. The URL is
3. End with the line, “Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF). Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at”
4. Tag 5 blog friends. Be sure to copy the rules, please 🙂

Three things I love to see :

1. My family
2. All of nature
3. Books, writing

The people I’m tagging are a few awesome and warm-hearted blogging friends (but I do think I have more than a few, so I’m breaking the rules by tagging 8):





Katie Smith




I really wanted to tag more, but did not want to be a total nuisance. But if you read this post, and Yvonne happens to inspire you as she has a lot of people, feel free to carry forward this meme.

Yvonne Foong is in danger of losing her eyesight thanks to neurofibromatosis (NF2). Please find out how you can help her by visiting her blog at

Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her next literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar, is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and was published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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