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23 year old artist with cancer and two-month prognosis hosts solo art exhibition

Author: Star PALS
21 April 2016

Life took a turn for the worse when happy-go-lucky and outgoing art student, Muhammad Khairul Ikwan, 23, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer and two months to live, in October 2015.

He was subsequently referred to Star PALS, a paediatric palliative care programme under HCA Hospice Care, where nurse, Nicole Peng, discovered his talent as an artist.

The effects of Khairul’s cancer caused a whirlwind of changes in his life. His vision and hearing, both of which are important tools for him as an artist, were disrupted. Yet he neither feels defeated nor dissuaded.

Khairul has managed to outlive his prognosis and is now working towards fulfilling his bucket list, one of which is the hosting of his solo art exhibition.

“I simply wish that he can do something that he really wants to do in this lifetime. If Star PALS can help to make his dream come true, why not?” says Nicole, who is helping Khairul with his preparations for the upcoming exhibition.

“Khairul is a vessel that is ever changing but stays true to himself. He is someone who is deeply in love and passionate about art,” says Muhammad Azri Bin Chapar, one of his many close friends.

Khairul will be launching HOPE, an exhibition showcasing his art today, 21 April. It will be an opportunity for him to share his life and how he deals with the reality of his own condition.

“Somewhere around the world lives another soul who suffers the same pain as you do but that soul wishes to continue to live on in this world, because they believe it is not their time to leave yet and also because they desire to share and create many more memories for themselves. It’s because of these souls that I press on,” he said.

The free and active life he once had has given way to one that is constrained by regularly medical reviews and chemotherapy treatments.

Through it all, Khairul remains positive and upbeat. HOPE is a collaborative exhibition that follows the artistic journey of Khairul and his battle with cancer.

Beneath the aesthetics and beauty of Khairul designs lies a simple individual pressing on to encourage his loved ones, friends and fans alike of the humanity and hope he discovered on the journey.

The exhibition looks into how each individual ruminates and reflects on the idea of hope differently, casting wider interpretations on the very essence of life and living.

Khairul’s life exemplifies HCA Hospice Care’s aims to provide the best quality of life for patients with life limiting illnesses by delivering professional palliative care and providing compassionate support to their families.

You can read more about Star PALS and HCA Hospice Care online.

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