JOHOR BARU – Gutsy teenagers like Gan Cheng Wei are the reason why cliches like "down but not out" should be repeated regularly.
Despite being diagnosed with leukaemia in March, the state badminton player is determined to return to the game he loves so much.
World No 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei has stepped in to set up a fund to pay for the teenager’s medical treatment.
The fund received a donation of RM10,000 (S$4,094) from Teori Warisan Sdn Bhd, the developer of Seasons Luxury Apartments.
Cheng Wei’s elder sister, Mei Ying, 34, who received the donation on behalf of her brother, said her family members were thankful that Lee had started the initiative.
"My brother has always idolised him," she said, adding that her sibling had wanted to be a badminton player since he was seven.
During the mock cheque handing over ceremony yesterday, Mei Ying said her brother was devastated when he initially found out about his illness.
"Although he is in pain, he is determined to return and play badminton."
However, she said Cheng Wei was currently feeling weak as he was undergoing chemotherapy.
"The only time that he actually forgot about his disease and smiled was when Lee visited him a couple of weeks ago," she said.
Her entire family is now praying that Cheng Wei will be able to fight the disease.
"We are very thankful for the financial support. Our parents are retired and our four other siblings are chipping in what they can to pay for his treatment," she said.
Lee said he personally started the initiative as he felt that he needed to help Cheng Wei recover. He also plans to visit Cheng Wei again once the boy is stronger.
Lee said those interested in contributing to the fund could forward their queries to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 07-2263388.