Parents bring photo of deceased son on board cruise ship to fulfil his dream, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Parents bring photo of deceased son on board cruise ship to fulfil his dream

The boy, 7, had always wanted to go on a cruise before he died of cancer in July

It was always a dream of seven-year-old Wu Hongchang to have a vacation on board a cruise ship. 

And though he died of cancer in July, thanks to a generous donor, his family boarded a cruise ship in his memory – carrying with them a framed photo of the boy.

Wu had battled cancer for four years, after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at the age of three, reported Shin Min Daily News on Sept 9.

In 2021, the boy and his family sought treatment at Singapore's National University Hospital after learning of its chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy treatment that could fight the cancer.

Wu was also set to receive a bone marrow transplant from his father, but suffered a relapse in December 2022. The boy's condition worsened in July this year, when a bacterial infection affected his lungs. 

His family celebrated his seventh birthday at the hospital on July 25, but two days later, made the painful decision to take their son off life support. He was suffering from cerebral hypoxia, a condition where the brain cannot receive sufficient oxygen.

In an earlier report by Shin Min, Wu's father revealed his son's desire to go on a cruise someday. 

An Indonesian magnate, who goes by Dato Sri Dr Tahir, made sure that Wu would get his wish – albeit posthumously. 

Dato Tahir is the founder of Mayapada group – a conglomerate with interests in banking, healthcare and real estate – and has a net worth of about US$4.9 billion (S$6.69 billion) according to Forbes.

He is also a member of Giving Pledge, a campaign set up in 2010 by Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates and business tycoon Warren Buffett that “encourages the world's super-rich to give away most of their wealth to philanthropic causes”, according to Reuters.

Dato Tahir visited the family in March last year, and donated $100,000 towards Wu's bone marrow transplant. He donated another $50,000 this year to assist with Wu's medical fees.

After learning of the boy's death, Dato Tahir donated $20,000 to the family, and paid for them to on a three-night cruise holiday.

When interviewed, he offered his condolences to Wu's family and said he hoped they would still be able to live a happy life.