Lim Eng Beng fights for life
PBA legend Lim Eng Beng looked so hale, hearty and in such high spirits when we bumped into him and his wife at a fastfood chain last Maundy Thursday. No one would have guessed he is currently fighting a fierce battle with the Big C.
Beng said it’s been two years since he was diagnosed with the dreaded disease and he’s lucky to still be alive.
The cancer is in his liver.
“Stage three. And I don’t even drink. I don’t have any vice. There were no symptoms. I just found out about the malignancy when I went through a routine checkup at the Makati Medical Center two years ago,” the cager related.
Coincidentally, fellow cager Samboy Lim was also at the same hospital undergoing a checkup.
“Ang dami na daw kasi niyang nararamdaman (He said he has been experiencing many symptoms),” he said as we exchanged more health concerns.”
“We both agreed we must be getting on in years.”
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Beng is now 64 years old.
It was not on the hardcourt when I first laid my eyes decades ago on this Filipino-Chinese cager, but in a neighbor’s house in Sta. Mesa Heights. He was in the company of fellow La Salle Green Archers Joaqui Trillo and Mike Bilbao.
At that time he must have been only a rookie or a sophomore of DLSU.
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When it was confirmed after a battery of tests that the nodule the doctors found on his liver was malignant, Beng’s whole world crashed.
“I couldn’t accept it. How can I be so sick when I felt so well. For four months, I wallowed in self-pity, thinking of nothing but my seemingly hopeless condition.
“Especially when my doctor said he could never make me well, but only try to prolong my life for as long as he can.
“I felt so depressed it came to a point I contemplated committing suicide. I wanted to jump from the top floor of a tall building.”
Amidst the nightmare though, Beng found consolation.
“I found out how many friends I had, how many people loved me … the Chinese community, my alma maters Chiang Kai Shek and La Salle, Mr. Danding Cojuangco, Mr. Paeng Hechanova, they all came to my rescue. They took care of me and are still taking care of me.”
Beng said it is La Salle that had financed his regular treatments in Singapore where he is undergoing chemotherapy and checkups every three months.
“My friends, my family, my benefactors ask only one thing from me. They all want me to fight! Fight! Fight!”
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