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Prof Pui (left) with VIVA Chairman Mrs Jennifer YEO (right)

Prof Ching-hon Pui

Dr Ching-Hon Pui Chairman, St. Jude Department of Oncology
Chair, VIVA External Advisory Board

Helping children with cancer has always been something close to my heart. When I was a child in middle school (if I recall correctly), I happened by chance to watch a movie about a young child who bravely fought but lost the battle with leukaemia. I was deeply touched by its poignancy, the dreams of every child and value of life no matter how small the hope could be.

Since then, helping children with leukaemia and other types of cancer has become my lifelong passion. It has all along been the primary motivational force that drives my choice of career. I worked hard to qualify for enrolment into medical school. I eventually specialised in paediatric oncology and stumbled upon the opportunity to help children with cancer at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

I was drawn to St. Jude’s mission of finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic medical conditions. The hospital has made remarkable achievements, pushing the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since its inception more than 50 years ago. Throughout my tenure with St. Jude, I have overseen advancements in childhood cancer treatment, as well as the establishment of international networks to share knowledge and resources to improve survival rates.

The unique thing about St. Jude is that we freely share the breakthroughs that we have made. Every child saved at St. Jude would mean that doctors, scientists and hospitals worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food. At St. Jude, we believe that all a family should worry about is helping their child pull through cancer and obtain a new lease of life.


To me, every child is important; it is unacceptable to lose even a single child to cancer or any other medical conditions.



Jennifer and I met at St. Jude, where we developed deep camaraderie through sharing the same passion of helping children with cancer both in Singapore and in Southeast Asia. Our partnership began immediately after Jennifer founded VIVA. Together with St. Jude’s 24 partner sites in 17 countries, VIVA will be well-poised to promote sustainable improvements in childhood cancer care and cure rates throughout Asia.

Our partnership with VIVA has seen encouraging impact both locally and regionally. In addition to improving the local infrastructure of childhood cancer care, VIVA is also able to attract world-class scientists, such as Professor Dario Campana, and nurture outstanding local clinicians, such as Dr Allen Yeoh, to conduct ground-breaking research to increase the cure rates of childhood cancer. The annual St. Jude-VIVA Forum is another highlight of our partnerships. Many regional clinicians cannot afford to travel to US or Europe to learn, and so VIVA brings the world-class investigators and scientists to Singapore to teach them.

I am hopeful that our efforts will continue to break new grounds and improve the lives of children with cancer. To me, every child is important; it is unacceptable to lose even a single child to cancer or any other medical conditions. I will continue to work hard daily to find ways to cure all of these children.