MANY of his loyal fans were heartbroken two months ago when it was reported that former radio DJ Billy Wang's leukaemia was back.
The disease is now in the third stage. Better known as Dongfang Billy, the Taiwanese has been a strong advocate for healthy living after winning his first battle with cancer 15 years ago.
Sporting a newly-shaven head and looking noticeably thinner, Billy, 45, was nevertheless optimistic at a press briefing yesterday. He spoke candidly about the documentary DIE-logues, which was produced by the Lien Foundation's Life Before Death campaign.
He will host the Chinese-language version of the documentary, which deals with public perceptions of end-of-life issues. It will air on television in March next year.
Billy told reporters that he is undergoing chemotherapy and has to fly back to Taiwan for treatment every week. Talking about his relapse, he said with steely determination: "I'm just taking things as they come, but I'm definitely not giving up."
Billy believes that preparation for death is important. "When someone dies abruptly, we are left with unresolved emotional and financial issues in the aftermath," he said.
But he admits he was terrified by the diagnosis. Still, he asserts, "it cannot determine my death. I can choose to die with dignity and with no regrets".
To that end, Billy has filmed a video for his wake, where he will deliver his last words to family and friends. He updates it every three months. He has also almost finished paying his housing mortgages.
Also present at the press conference was Mr Gerard Ee, 59, chairman of the National Kidney Foundation and Public Transport Council. He was diagnosed with colon cancer last November and is now "in the clear" after completing chemotherapy in June.
"A lot of things are out of your control," Mr Ee said. "But you can take control of your own life in spite of what happens."
Most importantly, he added, "Be well-prepared. Don't leave behind burdens for your family members."
For more details about DIE-logues, visit www.lifebeforedeath.sg
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