KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 – Yvonne Foong Ming Niang, an advocate of rare genetic disorder Neurofibromatosis, passed away in her sleep yesterday at the age of 33.
Foong suffered from Neurofibromatosis Type II (NF2), which is a disease that stunts the growth and formation of nerve cells, as well as enhances the growth of tumours in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
“Thank you for your continued support for the Foong family. It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Yvonne Foong Ming Niang, 33 years young, who has gone home to the Lord on 11 November 2019. She left us peacefully in her sleep at her home, while comforted by her mother, Madam Chia Kwee Que,” a Facebook post on her account read.
“A writer and motivational speaker, Yvonne dedicated her life advocating and raising public awareness and support for Neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic disorder.”
Despite being diagnosed with the disease when she was just 16, Foong spent her life actively raising awareness about the disorder through motivational talks and her two autobiographical novels, “I’m Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell: Life With Neurofibromatosis” and the sequel, “A Life Worth Living”.
She had to stop ballet and figure skating because of the disorder, but she also previously contributed articles and columns for various media organisations.
After experiencing a bad fall last year, Foong focused on selling off her remaining books to help fund her surgeries and treatments overseas.
Foong’s book, “I’m Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell”, speaks on various things, including her battle with the disorder as well as her Most Outstanding Youth of 2005 award.
“If you have ever wondered what it is like to cope with an incurable illness, this book introduces you to the day-by-day realities of a teenager who is the girl next door,” according to Goodreads, where the book has ratings of 3.56.
In “A Life Worth Living”, Foong spoke about where her inner strength and her tenacity to overcome her trials and tribulations came from.
“Emotionally and physically trying, Yvonne’s early childhood experiences have made her empathetic towards the hardships of others and given her the desire to empower them to live their best life,” Foong’s website said.
Wake services will be conducted at Foong’s family home today at 8.30pm at No 13, Jalan 1/12, PJ Old Town and tomorrow morning at 10 from the home to Nirvana Crematorium Shah Alam.