Mark Lee on his daughter's disease, "We have 5-10 years to find a solution..."
"If it were to spread fast, her kidneys would’ve been destroyed in six months. Thankfully, it's slow, so we still have about five to ten years to find a solution."
Last year, the Mark Lee family was shaken by really sad news. The Singaporean actor-comedian’s youngest daughter, Calynn Lee, was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease.
In a recent interview with 8 Days, Mark Lee shared more about his child’s condition, and why they had 5-10 years to find a cure…
How the Mark Lee family coped with news of the rare disease
It was in May 2018 that Mark Lee, and his wife, Catherine Ng, received the shocking diagnosis. Their 5-year-old daughter, Calynn Lee, was suffering from Glomerulonephritis, a progressive kidney disease.
Tests had revealed the presence of white blood cells in her urine, which indicated that her kidneys were infected.
The little child however, is unaware of how serious her illness is. “We just told her she was sick. Even if we were to describe it to her, she wouldn’t understand it either”, says Mark Lee to 8 Days.
The good news is that after 3 months of treatment, Calynn’s red blood cell count has gone back to normal.
“Luckily, she is still as active as ever and isn’t prone to any of the side effects. She’s growing taller and has put on weight, which is a miracle.”
“However, the bad bacteria is still present. She doesn’t need to go to the hospital anymore but she still has to take her medicine at home. We are still not sure how long she’ll be on medication for. Maybe five years, 10 years, nobody knows”, reveals daddy Mark.
The actor also revealed some tense moments the family went through initially.
“One of the most nerve-racking moments we’ve had was when the doctors needed to conduct an ultrasound scan on her kidney. They had to use a huge needle to extract a part of her kidney to test if the disease was a fast or slow spreading one.”
“If it were to spread fast, her kidneys would’ve been destroyed in six months. Thankfully, it’s slow, so we still have about five to ten years to find a solution.”
How the disease has changed their lives
The family has been taking precautions when it comes to Calynn’s diet, but are trying their best to give her as normal a life as possible.
“We were advised not to give her food that is too sweet or salty, because it affects the kidney. But whenever she wants to eat, say, ice cream, we would just give her one or two spoons and that’s it”, says Mark.
Soon after they received the diagnosis, mummy Catherine also set up a Facebook page, called “Cheers for Calynn Lee”, where she frequently posts updates on Calynn’s condition.
“My wife decided to set up a page to see if there is anyone facing the same problems as us.”
“The response has been very good, with other parents coming together to support each other and giving tips on how to get through this difficult time”, Mark Lee tells 8 Days.
Things turned ugly briefly though, when a scammer misused the information and pictures shared on the page to ask for donations.
“She wants to sleep with daddy every day…”
Daddy Lee is really proud of the maturity his darling daughter has showed.
“She would fold her own clothes and set it aside neatly after showering, and would take the initiative to get her towels and things like that without our help”, he shares.
Previously, the child would often ask to be carried when the family went travelling abroad.
“Now, she would ask us not to carry her after a while so she can walk on her own. And when it came to meals, she would quietly sit down and eat by herself.”
“She’s also very cooperative when it comes to taking her medication, because she knows that it would help her get well. I am honestly very touched by how mature she has become.”
There is one thing the little girl insists on though.
“She wants to sleep with me everyday!” Mark reveals to 8 Days.
“Sometimes, after a long day’s work, I would like to have some quiet time alone, to do my own things, relax and have a coffee. But she comes to me and says, “Papa, I give you five minutes, come and sleep!”
“I would have to cuddle up in bed with her, and hold her as she sleeps, just like my girlfriend! I would only leave the room when she’s asleep.”
Aww…Here’s hoping that the new year brings positive news for the Mark Lee family. Wishing Calynn a speedy recovery.
(Source: 8 Days)