IT was Muhammad Afiq Muhammad Shukri’s dream to be a national athlete when he was young.
His love for sports was so strong that he enrolled into SMK Mutiara Impian (Penang Sport School) to pursue his dream.
But sometimes, life can give you lemons. Muhammad Afiq was diagnosed with bone cancer on his left leg when he was 13.
His cousin Nur Naziera Husna, 21, said the Muhammad Afiq had to visit the hospital occasionally to clean the wound on his left leg and the pain was excruciating.
“Muhammad Afiq decided to amputate the bottom part of his left leg in 2018,” Nur Naziera said.
Muhammad Afiq, now 19, said although his dream of becoming a national athlete was crushed, he discovered a new talent. He found out that he has a gift in wheelchair fencing.
“I started learning wheelchair fencing in December last year. I hope that someday I can represent the country in the Paralympic Games,” he said.
Life has been tough for Muhammad Afiq.
Being the eldest among four siblings, Muhammad Afiq said he has to shoulder the responsibility to support the family together with his parents.
His father works as a satellite dish installer while his mother works as a hawker.
Muhammad Afiq has been working as a lift cleaner for eight months now, earning RM1,300 a month.
“It was tough at first, but now I’m used to the job,” he said.
His plight caught the attention of Lions Club of Penang Light.
The charity organisation presented him with a new prosthetic limb, in hope to ease his mobility.
Muhammad Afiq was among four recipients who received the prosthetic limbs.
The club also gave away 11 lightweight wheelchairs and a set of hearing aid to the needy people at the ‘Presentation of Prosthetic Limbs, Wheelchairs & Hearing Aids’ charity event in Hotel Jen today.
He was accompanied by his cousin Nur Naziera and grandmother Mahiran Mat Amin, 63.
The signature project ‘Presentation of Prosthetic Limbs, Wheelchairs & Hearing Aids’ was a joint project with two Leo Clubs and its sister clubs from Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Organising chairman past president Rayson Khoo said the joint project was held to commemorate the 22nd Charter Anniversary.
“The signature project undertaken by the Lions Club of Penang Light has started since 2006 and was earlier known as the Prosthetic Limb Project. Later, the project expanded to include the presentation of wheelchair and hearing aid.
“We have been working with our strategic partner Messrs Teh Lin Prosthetic & Orthopaedic Co. Sdn. Bhd. for 14 years to reach out to the less fortunate in our community,” he said.
The recipients and their family members attended the charity event.
Khoo said the total cost for five prosthetic limbs, 11 lightweight wheelchairs and a set of hearing aid was RM40,000.
Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng said he was grateful for the help provided to the people with disabilities.
“Thank you for giving them the tools to lead a normal life.
“We often take for granted some of the simplest things in life, such as being able to hear or walk properly.
“At times, we fail to understand how difficult it can be for people with disabilities to overcome challenges,” he said in his speech.
Lions Club District 308B2 District Governor Datuk Yeoh Moh Chai said the efforts by Lions Club of Penang Light managed to improve the quality of life of the recipients.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Alissala Thian