Mr. Lloyd Tan ... The Road Less Traveled
When I joined the MPDA in 1999, Mr. Tan was no longer the President but he still attended the regular monthly meetings that we had at the Pantai Medical Centre. In a wheelchair then, his speech was pretty inaudible and at times, his head would droop very low. Apart from greeting him and enquiring on his well being, I really never had the opportunity to speak to him on matters that concern the MPDA or life in general.
However, all of us in the Committee and the Association were guided by Mr. Tan's vision and objectives of the MPDA i.e to inform and educate PD patients and to provide them with the much needed moral and emotional support. As the years went by, his condition deteriorated and whenever his health permitted, he would try to attend the events that were organized. His presence meant very much to the Committee, giving us the encouragement and the zeal to carry forth the objectives of the MPDA.
As I never had the opportunity to work with him when he was the President and speak much to him when he became the Life President, in retrospection, I wonder what sort of a President and Life President he would be. As the President, would he be fair and receptive to new ideas, a good listener, articulate and engaging and one who possessed great charisma? Or was he an introvert, authoritarian and one lacking a sense of humour? As the Life President, how would he view our progress? Are we working hard enough to realize the vision of the MPDA, are we tapping on the multitude of talents that is available in the MPDA and our alliances? How would he view some of our actions and behavior? I hope that I will be able to seek the answers in these special pages dedicated to Mr. Tan.
The little time and few occasions that I had with Mr. Tan and his wife were frightening moments of observing what Parkinson's Disease (PD) could do to one's life. Yet it was very comforting to see the dedication and love of Mrs. Tan in taking such good care of him. There was one very touching moment when a few of us visited Mr. Tan during Christmas Day at the nursing home and we saw Mrs. Tan reading to him. It made me wonder, if at all I will to end up in Mr. Tan's condition, would there be anyone to read or sing to me?
At Mr. Tan's wake, a brother of the church delivered a sermon. He read a feature from the newspaper quoting Steven Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer as saying that death is the best invention for mankind. We grieved at the demise of our loved ones, but in death, a new cycle of growth begins. And if we cherish the beliefs and values of our dearly departed ones, we will be able to use it as a guiding light to bring us to higher level of achievements.
Mr. Tan had run a good race, taking the debilitating effects of PD in its stride as he reached the finishing line. In setting up the MPDA, he had left a legacy that all PD patients and Malaysians should be proud to inherit. Mr. Tan could have joined all the PD patients in the country, waiting for the Government and the doctors to provide them with the necessary support. But the visionary in him decided to take the road less traveled and set up the MPDA for the benefit of the PD patients and their caregivers. Since its inception in 1994, the MPDA has achieved many firsts and has been at the forefront educating and creating awareness on PD to PD patients and the public. At the same time, the MPDA has provided PD patients a sanctuary where there can seek morale support and relief from fellow patients and caregivers.
The MPDA has given me an opportunity to serve and at the same time develop myself. Getting to know all of you and understanding the needs of the patients and caregivers have made me a better caregiver to my family members and friends. I am also much honored to be given the chance to organize events for all of you. The experiences gained at the MPDA have been memorable. To these, I would like to say thank you, Mr.Lloyd Tan for being the visionary in setting up the MPDA.
The baton has been passed to us and now, it is for us to build on the legacy and continue to run the race in the noblest manner, with sincerity in thoughts and action that would make Mr. Tan proud. Mr. Tan's vision should be our beacon to make the MPDA more relevant in meeting the needs of the PD patients and the community in the new millennium.
It had been a tiring journey for you Mr. Tan and may you take a good rest. Take Care and God Bless.
Thank you Mr. Tan for the pleasant memories
Some people come into our lives
and leave footprints on our hearts
and we are never ever the same.
-- Flavia Weedn
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.
-- Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face
and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
-- Irish Blessing
Source: Berita Parkinson - Newsletter of the Persatuan Parkinson Malaysia, 2nd Issue:02/2007, April - July 2007 Publication.