‘He persevered until the end’: NTU graduate dies after 5-year battle with rare bone cancer, Singapore News

'He persevered until the end': NTU graduate dies after 5-year battle with rare bone cancer, Singapore News thumbnail

March 17, 2023published at 10:08 AMByChing Shi Jie

He had gone through the tormenting side effects of chemotherapy while studying for a degree at Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

After a five-year battle with bone cancer, 28-year-old Justin Leng Zhan Chun died on Tuesday (March 14) morning, Lianhe Zaobao reported.

In May 2018, Leng, who was in his second year at NTU business school then, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma after X-rays revealed that his “toothache” was in fact a tumour under the left jawbone.

A rare form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma affects 3.4 people per million worldwide every year.

In an interview with the Chinese daily, Leng’s father shared how his filial son had started chemotherapy immediately after his diagnosis and had surgery to remove his left lower jaw.

“Zhanchun worked hard with the doctors during the treatment,” the 75-year-old said. 

While the painful treatment lasted until May 2019, Leng continued playing basketball regularly during that time and was determined to fight cancer.

While he successfully went into remission, a follow-up visit to the hospital in June 2020, it was revealed that the cancer cells had spread.

But Leng’s strong willpower never wavered, his mother said, adding that her son resumed classes three days after an operation to prepare for an exam.

“He persisted until the end and graduated from NTU with honours,” the 72-year-old said.

He wanted to encourage other cancer patients, mum says

Barely four months into his job as an investment consultant, Leng had to undergo chemotherapy again when his illness returned.

This time, Leng was told that he had reached the terminal stage of cancer with only six months to live.

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But he did not give up even at that time, his mother said, adding that her son had wished to share his journey battling cancer to encourage other patients to face their illnesses bravely.

On March 8, Leng was admitted to hospital where doctors found that the cancer cells in his brain had spread further. He died six days later.

Well-wishers can pay their last respects to Leng at the void deck of Block 697A Hougang Street 52. The funeral will be held this Saturday at 10am.

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