Inspiring! Singaporean mum sells ice lollies to pay for kidney transplant!

Inspiring! Singaporean mum sells ice lollies to pay for kidney transplant!

"After the call, she held a family meeting and told us that she wanted to start this small business because she didn't want to depend on anyone."

We came across Madam Salbiah's story on The Straits Times and found it so inspirational, we just had to share it here.

In 2010, Madam Salbiah Ahmad found out that she had kidney failure and needed dialysis.

Struggled with finances

Though her visits to the National Kidney Foundation dialysis centre cost her only $50 a month (after subsidies), the kidney failure got a little complicated later on and also led to a skin condition. Her medications ended up costing over $1,000 for three months' dose. She is also an asthma sufferer.

The fact that the illness is not covered by health insurance makes things harder for this family of five. They have been struggling to make ends meet. They have also been unsuccessful in getting any long term financial help.

Madam Salbiah's husband remains her chief caregiver, while her two sons and daughter support her. The elder son is the sole breadwinner of the family, earning about $1,500 as a forklift driver.

The financial crunch has almost drained their Medisave accounts, says her daughter, Siti Fatimah Musa, who is a housewife.

New hope, new beginnings

Last month, Madam Salbiah got a call from the Singapore General Hospital that she could soon be matched to a kidney donor. It was her ray of hope.

The Straits Times quotes Ms. Siti as saying, "My mother was worried about money but she usually keeps her thoughts to herself. After the call, she held a family meeting and told us that she wanted to start this small business because she didn't want to depend on anyone."

What was this 'small business'?

She started making and selling ice lollies at 80 cents to $1 a pop.

Go to the next page to read more about how this Singaporean mum sells ice lollies to pay for kidney transplant... 

Fighting kidney failure, the ice lolly way

What started off as a humble venture soon gathered speed. Madam Salbiah has already sold more than 1,000 ice lollies, known as air batu in Malay. She makes them in a variety of flavours and colours, including bandung, lychee and sour plum. She also makes sure they are not overtly sweet, and can cater to both the young and old.

ice-lolly-1

The family were initially sceptical about this business idea, fearing that working on it together with dialysis would make her tired. But they realised that she was far less depressed when she was occupied with it.

Her worries are hardly over though. So far she has only managed to raise $800 to $900, a far cry from the estimated $45,000 that her transplant would cost, before any subsidies.

But Madam Salbiah remains upbeat, "Even though I am still not earning much now, spending a few hours every day making this and having customers tell me that they enjoy the flavours I come up with makes me happy, and helps me forget my worries."

We wish her good luck in her business, and hope that she gets well soon.

(Source: The Straits Times)

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Written by

Jaya

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