Micaela Toh - 2023 Singapore Cancer Society’s (SCS) Interschool Competition

Micaela Toh (23S03G) participated in the 2023 Singapore Cancer Society’s (SCS) annual Interschool Competition (ISC) and came in first place! She shares with us on her journey in the competition, and how her mother’s battle with breast cancer inspired her to advocate for cancer awareness and prevention.

Photo with SMS & SCS Chairman Mr Lee Meng Tat
Micaela Toh with Senior Minister of State, Mr Tan Kiat How, and Singapore Cancer Society Chairman, Mr Lee Meng Tat.

Could you share with us the details of the competition and what your project is about? 

The competition entailed creating an informative deliverable regarding cancer, raising cancer awareness and promoting living a cancer-free lifestyle. One of the criteria was to make a creative and appealing, yet effective deliverable, which inspired me to create a vlog.

As this was the 10th year of my mom’s breast cancer remission, I created the video to honour her fighting spirit and share her healthy lifestyle habits. I focused the video on our mother-daughter relationship, establishing a sense of relatability yet a level of intimacy — which made the video engaging and enjoyable to watch.

What drives you to be an advocate for early cancer detection and awareness? 

As someone who could’ve lost her mother at a young age to cancer, advocating for it is all the more important to me. Cancer can affect anyone of any age, so it is even more important to protect your loved ones before it’s too late. 

My mum was only 40 when she was diagnosed with cancer, and at the time I was only 8 years old. Back then, I didn’t understand the gravity of her diagnosis. But now that 10 years have passed and she’s entered remission, I’ve learnt how strong my mom must have been to fight through cancer — and how she managed to make the most out of her life post-cancer, be it through spending time with her loved ones and doing the things she loves. 

What is one word of advice that you would like to share with regards to cancer awareness and prevention? 

Cancer can happen to anyone, at any time, to take the ones you love most away from you the fastest. So go out, take the step to lead a cancer-free lifestyle; spend time with your loved ones, and appreciate life a little more. 

We thank Micaela for sharing her heartfelt story on her mother’s battle with cancer and their mother-daughter relationship, as well as how it has inspired her to advocate for cancer awareness and prevention!