Stitching Warmth:
An LB Senior Volunteer and Cancer Survivor Raising Funds for Seniors -
One Patchwork Quilt at a Time


Soldiers are not only those who are seen fighting in wars. Meet our soldier, a 75-year-old brave LB Senior named Ong Hoo June, affectionately known as “June,” a member of LB AAC @ Mei Ling 150. She fought against two major ordeals in her 70s without support from her close kin, having been widowed four years ago without children and living alone. At the age of 71, she survived bypass heart surgery, and a year later, she battled breast cancer and underwent breast surgery.

During her cancer treatment, in 2020, the situation became even more challenging as the surgery coincided with the Chinese New Year period, when no visitors were allowed due to the Covid pandemic. To make things worse, another unexpected health condition arose – her eyesight had deteriorated.

Considering the hardships June faced in her senior years, anyone, would be depressed. However, June soldiered through the long journey of illness without succumbing to despair. She shared, “I am not afraid of the future or worried. I have learned to take things one day at a time.” This attitude enabled her to face life’s hurdles, including the possibility of death, with strength and hope. She added that joining LB AAC’s activities brightened her mood and helped her to develop a positive character, qualities that carried her through these challenges.

Currently, June has fully recovered from cancer and her eye condition. She can now move about freely and is actively raising funds for the AAC by creating a variety of artworks, including beaded artworks and tote bags, with a special focus on patchwork quilts.

June has been volunteering with LB for approximately 28 years, making her one of the pioneer volunteers of the organisation. Little more than a year ago, she merged her two greatest loves – volunteering and sewing patchwork blankets – by dedicating her time to sew these blankets, with all sales proceeds going toward the centre’s activities.

Each hand-made patchwork quilt, symbolizing family and warmth, took several days to complete, and she has since produced about 30 of them.

Her passion for serving seniors is evident as she sits in the centre almost every day, from morning to late afternoon, working on the patchwork quilts.

“Instead of thinking about ‘when will I die?’ during the recovery period after the operation, it is better to spend time doing volunteer work as it helps me pass the time meaningfully and meet many people. I also feel immensely happy when I see my artwork completed,” June shared.

Some people poured cold water on her decision to volunteer and spend time making patchwork blankets, questioning why she bothered since the centre would not close down even without her. Nevertheless, June continues to volunteer at the centre every day, rain or shine, with the same mindset she had during her surgeries and battle against cancer.

She chooses to live a life in which she can utilize her artistic sewing talents to make a difference.

“Because I am still capable of managing my daily life, I have the desire to help less privileged seniors. It is important to extend our support to others since there may come a time when we ourselves might need assistance in the future. While I can still move my hands and legs effectively, I am determined to lend them a helping hand,” she resolved.


During her volunteering, June discovered that sewing helped keep her hand-and-leg coordination agile. She saw sewing as a form of exercise for her limbs, as it required her to step on the sewing machine’s foot pedal while deftly moving her hands. Additionally, her volunteering work of sewing patchwork quilts became a platform for engaging other sewing enthusiasts. Currently, two other seniors assist her in the patchwork quilt making process.

Unexpectedly, her hobby has quickly transformed into a meaningful upcycling project. The materials for the patchwork quilts come from cloths donated by residents living near the AAC who wish to support the centre’s charitable work and activities. The assortment of donated clothes showcases June’s creative talents even more as she derives design ideas on the spot by examining the pieces of cloth which she has to work with.

With National Cancer Survivors Day on June 4th, a day to remind that after a cancer diagnosis, though it is a reality, but hope is within reach and destiny is still in our hands as long as one never gives up, June’s life story serves as an emblem of a fighter. She states, “As long as I can still help others, I am willing to give all I can to continue assisting other seniors.”

We hope that these stories would inspire you to reach out and touch the lives of others.

If you would like to share your thoughts on these stories, please feel free to email us at

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