You probably recognise him as an actor from your favourite local television program, having acted in shows like 118 and Mr Kiasu.
While shy and introverted since young, Chew Chor Meng loved to go to the Community Clubs to watch television shows and enjoyed operas on the streets. This piqued his interest in acting and dramas, and everything else was history. However, in 2006, he noticed that he was particularly out of breath when climbing the stairs and would fall for no reason. It was only until 2008 when he was officially diagnosed with Kennedy’s disease, a form of muscular atrophy.
Explaining that he was only truly emotionally impacted by his illness and mortality when he saw how young his daughters were one night, Chew Chor Meng credited his family to be his main pillar of support. His wife assured him that he was not alone on this journey; and his daughters, despite their youthful age, often acted as his “infantry”, taking note of where the toilets or stairs were whenever they visited a new place. He also frequently shared stories with the elderly when he went on house visits with his fellow churchgoers, an act of motivation that helped him witness his own contributions to others.
The biggest difference Chew Chor Meng noticed with his disability was the shift in the public eye. Where people once looked at his face, they were now looking at his legs. He once struggled with watching re-runs of his shows, unable to accept that he could no longer move like he used to. However, with familial support, through his Faith, and an ardent belief in his own strength, he learnt to adjust his mindset, telling himself that he still has the ability to do what he loved – acting. While it is still a continual process, Chew Chor Meng is grateful that this process has brought him to become the hopeful entertainer we continue to enjoy watching on our screens today.
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