Fashion for Cancer – Where Fashion meets a Good Cause

Fashion for Cancer – Where Fashion meets a Good Cause

“If modelling can become a reality for me, why can’t I make it a reality for cancer survivors who would never in their wildest dreams think they would ever catwalk on stage? It would bring joy even if it meant just a single day of happiness.”Ms Ong Bee Yan, Senior fashion model & entrepreneur
In a world where fashion and beauty have often been associated with superficiality, there is a remarkable movement that transcends appearances and celebrates the very core of human strength – the Fashion for Cancer charity runway show. Birthed out of a dream to bring hope and positivity to those battling cancer, the Fashion for Cancer charity runway show not only seeks to raise funds, but also allow cancer survivors to showcase their resilience, strength, and valiant efforts in battling cancer.
Ms Ong Bee Yan with her son, Rong Liang
On 28 August 2021, Ms Ong Bee Yan, also prominently known as Yan Ong (@grey_evolution), received the news of her son, Chia Rong Liang’s, diagnosis of stage 3 pancreatic cancer. Upon further research of pancreatic cancer and its prognosis, she felt overwhelmed with a sickening sense of hopelessness, pain, and sadness. This was in addition to also witnessing her uncle, aunt, two cousins, sister-in-law and mother, battle cancer too. To date, her son has gone through two surgeries, radiation, and is still undergoing chemotherapy. Despite the fear and uncertainty with every follow-up scan, they still celebrate every victory – even the small ones.
A single cancer diagnosis can take a huge toll on an individual and their loved ones emotionally, mentally, and financially. Hence, Yan Ong has since leveraged on her influence in the fashion industry to organize this Fashion for Cancer charity event to raise funds and provide a platform for cancer survivors to gain confidence and realize their dreams of getting to catwalk on stage. Her goal is to raise S$100,000 for the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) to aid in cancer research and patient support.
This Fashion for Cancer charity runway show showcases an amalgamation of style, resilience and hope; where fashion becomes a transformative force for individuals facing the formidable challenges of cancer. Featuring 16 cancer survivors with ages ranging from 9 to 59 years, walking the runway decked in In Good Company, Charles & Keith and Moss & Lupine, this runway illuminates stories of triumph over adversity. Among these models are Rong Liang himself, Mediacorp actress Pan Ling Ling, photographer-filmmaker Nicky Loh, and Manhunt Singapore 2021/2022's first runner-up Arun Rosiah.
Let’s get to know some of the models walking the runway!
Photo credits: Grazia
"You just have to decide to be kind to yourself because not doing so serves no greater purpose to you and no benefit to your life. It doesn't make you richer, healthier, wealthier in any way. It draws a lot of emotional energy from you that you could have spent in much better ways by being kinder to your loved ones, to yourself, to others."
Meet one of the key players who ignited the passion behind this Fashion for Cancer charity runway show - he is none other than Rong Liang, Yan Ong's son! Rong Liang is a freelance filmmaking technician, who also often gives his mum photo-taking advice, ever since Yan Ong's modelling journey began.
Rong Liang is a pancreatic cancer and Whipple operation survivor. Though his cancer has since progressed to stage 4, he believes that cancer has gifted him the wisdom of relinquishing the past and the things he cannot control, to instead live in the present.
The biggest lesson cancer has taught him is: to attain balance, serenity, and liberation in life, one should just let go. In his words, we should "Worry about the things you have control over and don't worry about the things you have no control over." He urges us all to take hold of the ephemeral gift of time, to not procrastinate the things we can do today. So that at the end of the day, we can celebrate having lived a good life.
“One huge lesson cancer has taught me is when you’ve hit rock bottom and survived, there are very few things in life that can scare you.”
Eileen is a triple negative breast cancer survivor and a preschool teacher. Despite receiving such troubling news at age 33, her awesome team of doctors, nurses, and oncologists comforted her during her ordeal.
On 24 June 2019, she walked into the operating theatre with her breast surgeon as she didn’t want to be pushed in by a wheelchair, for a surgery to remove her left breast. From getting her diagnosis, to undergoing her surgery, and losing all her hair, nothing stopped her from thriving. What got her through the tough times? Honestly, she had no answer herself. But she knew that she still had a life and goals with her husband and family to work towards to, so her only option was to ‘suck it up.’ She believes that she is stronger than cancer and her scars will never define who she is. Rising above the difficulties brought about by cancer, Eileen was an overcomer, transforming fear into strength and uncertainty into triumph.

Photo credits: Sassy Mama

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have."

Tracy was starting at her new job and was a newly-wed when she was diagnosed with stage 2-3 breast cancer at the age of 29. Her cancer was quite extensive and had already spread to her lymph nodes. She underwent 6 months of chemotherapy, a mastectomy, breast reconstruction surgery, radiotherapy, and to date, she is still on hormonal therapy.

Though she had to undergo cancer treatments and eventually lost her job during her recovery period, cancer served as a catalyst for self-discovery as it unearthed newfound passions and a profound sense of purpose. Tracy has since found greater fulfilment in life, showing her indomitable spirit in her fight against cancer. Her life post-cancer involved travelling, discovering of new hobbies, and even adopting a poodle!

In spite of the unfortunate truth that her cancer may relapse, Tracy spends her time sharing with others about her cancer journey to raise awareness, proving that courage and resilience can conquer even the most formidable adversaries. With her unwavering determination to overcome every obstacle cancer threw her way, Tracy has emerged as a true warrior in adversity.


Photo credits: Gabriel's Instagram (@gabbyyip)

"Something I learned through that difficult season was: you'll always find the strength within yourself when the going gets tough."

 We all know that receiving any cancer diagnosis is already a challenging experience in itself. But Gabriel was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 19, when he had to battle cancer and juggle his school and sports on the side. A living testament to the power of perseverance and hope, Gabriel continued managing his studies and sports, while undergoing 2 years of chemotherapy. Thankfully, Gabriel emerged stronger post-cancer, with the help and support from his friends and family.

Today, Gabriel is working in the film industry as a second camera assistant, filming commercials and corporate shoots. He is also now married and expecting his first child! He and his wife enjoy spending time together outdoors, camping, cooking, and having fun with their dog. His story is the epitome of how beyond the diagnosis, treatments, and emotional upheaval brought about by cancer, lies a path of triumph and renewed hope - truly there is life after cancer.

Come and support these models at the Fashion for Cancer fashion show as we also pay homage to the many other cancer survivors who have emerged victorious in their fight against cancer!


Wondering what you can do to support the Fashion for Cancer fundraising campaign? Here are some ways you could show your support:

#1 Grab your tickets for the Fashion for Cancer charity runway show

Get front row seats to the fashion show that supports courage and beauty! You will not only get to watch the cancer survivors strut down the runway but also be treated to an amazing time of entertainment by beatboxer Dharni and pop artist Haven. What’s more? Each guest will also bag home a goodie bag worth S$330! The details of the fashion show are as follows:

Date: Friday, 25 August 2023

Time: 6.30pm – 10pm

Venue: AP Media Asia at 39 Ubi Road 1 #04-01 Singapore 408695

Ticket Price: S$200 per ticket

Did you know that for every ticket sold, In Good Company Asia (IGC Asia) and Moss & Lupine will be matching dollar for dollar and donating to the NCCS Cancer Fund too? So what are you waiting for? Seats are filling up fast so hurry get your tickets and get ready to sashay your way to this incredible event.

You can get your tickets on eventbrite here.

#2 Come down to our cafe and get a cup of coffee

The TSS team first got to know Yan Ong (affectionately known as Aunty Yan) as the co-founder of 1DegreeC, a cold brew coffee we used to serve in our cafes. To show our support for the amazing efforts of her and her team, as well as to help raise funds and awareness for the cause, The Social Space will be donating $1 for every coffee sold from 1st to 31st August 2023.

All proceeds will go towards the 'Fashion for Cancer' fundraising campaign to inspire, encourage and empower those who are battling cancer and their loved ones.

Come pay us a visit and enjoy a cuppa joe while supporting a good cause!


We hope that you are as excited as we are in supporting this Fashion for Cancer runway show and celebrating the extraordinary strength that emerges from this union of fashion and courage - an infallible proof that there is truly an extraordinary strength that lies within the human soul. May this fashion show serve as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who have battled cancer head-on and thrived, and a beacon of hope and inspiration to those on a similar path too. Together, let us fashion a world of healing and hope - one outfit, one step and one heartfelt connection at a time.

*Information in this blogpost was adapted from Fashion for Cancer's Instagram page (@fashionforcancersg), CNA Lifestyle, Today Online, and Green Renaissance's Youtube channel

(Banner photo credits: CNA Lifestyle)

Written by Hannah, Retail & Marketing Intern 2023

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.