Facebook appeal by restaurant owner transforms fate for 70-year-old cancer-stricken elderly woman in medication plight


4th March 2024 – (Hong Kong) Agape Garden restaurant at Shop G06, G/F, Mei Kwai House, Shek Kip Mei Estate, 13 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei has spearheaded a fundraising campaign to support a 70-year-old cancer patient whose financial struggles left her unable to afford life-saving medication. The elderly woman, who previously relied on charity funds to purchase her cancer drugs, found herself in dire straits when the funding ran out, forcing her into the workforce in an attempt to cover her medical expenses.

The heartwarming turn of events began unfolding when the restaurant owner learned of the woman’s predicament and took to Facebook to issue a plea for help. The response was overwhelming, with citizens stepping in to provide immediate financial support.

The woman, whose identity has been withheld to protect her privacy, was diagnosed with cancer last year. The cost of her treatment quickly became a significant burden due to the high price of her required medication. Initially supported by the Community Care Fund, she was left vulnerable when an unexpected increase in drug costs depleted the assistance prematurely.

Faced with the loss of funding, the elderly patient reached out to hospital social workers for aid, only to find that her case needed to be reassessed due to staff changes. As the bureaucratic process stalled her access to assistance, the restaurant owner took swift action, calling upon medical contacts to secure a 20-day supply of medication to address the immediate crisis.

However, with monthly medication costs soaring to HK$30,000, the restaurant’s resources were insufficient for long-term support. This prompted the establishment to seek assistance from the wider community through social media. The public’s response was immediate and generous, with patrons donating directly to the restaurant’s tip box and one woman contributing nearly half the monthly cost of the drugs.

Through the power of networking, the restaurant owner accompanied the elderly woman to the Cancer Information Foundation, a charity which provided a 28-day supply of medication upon learning of her potential plight.

The story reached a hopeful resolution on 27th February when the Hospital Authority informed the woman that the Community Care Fund would cover a full year of her cancer medication. Furthermore, the restaurant owner helped her apply for the “Drug Capping Program,” ensuring she received the necessary drugs at no cost.

The outpouring of support from netizens has been resounding, with many praising the restaurant owner’s compassionate intervention. “Helping is never overstepping,” one commenter noted, while another remarked on the rarity of such selfless acts in today’s society.