JavaScript is off. Please enable to view full site.

Saigon man sends boatloads of hope to children with cancer

Thursday, August 06, 2020, 13:24 GMT+7
Saigon man sends boatloads of hope to children with cancer
Huynh Sang is seen preparing ship models before gifting them to child cancer patients in this photo taken on July 31, 2020. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Sang simply looked for a way to send positivity to child cancer patients through gifts of DIY ship models, but what he created turned out to be way more than that. 

Sang’s home on Lac Long Quan Street, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, was seen in late July harboring over 100 model ships, enough to wow any visitors. 

The collection covers a multitude of ship and vessel designs throughout history: from sailboats and sampans – a kind of flat-bottomed wooden boat with one on-board shelter – to battleships and aircraft carriers, even the infamous passenger liner Titanic.

From drawers to the floor, virtually every space inside Sang’s home is occupied by model ships. Some other unfinished ship miniatures were in various stages of being built. 

According to Sang, this whole endeavor started from the idle hours during the COVID-19 social distancing order back in April, taking advantage of the quality time with his son by building a compact ship model.

As he spent more time on the hobby, he grew more and more engrossed with his newfound interest. After the humble early project of building a sampan, Sang further honed his skills to take on more complicated projects such as the Titanic, an aircraft carrier, and a battleship.

“The beginner pieces allow me to create solely from memory and imagination, but the more advanced ones require me to look up images and do research to approach a certain level of realism,” Sang said.

Ferrying the dreams

Since the adoption of his new hobby, Sang does not consider any objects in his house to be disposable anymore – he utilizes plastic straws, single-use chopsticks, carton boxes, Q-tips, and anything else he can find to incorporate them into his projects. Each model takes him about five to ten hours to make, depending on the complexity, details, and size of each model.

“During my transition into creating big ships, I found myself gathering more thoughts on the tides of life that these children are grappling with day to day, which predicated my initiative of sending model ships to them. Kids would love the toys, just like my child does,” Sang said about the genesis of his project 'Cho uoc mo qua ngon song' (Ferrying dreams through the tides of life).

Under Sang’s adept hands, each model is meticulously crafted down to the minor details such as spare sails on sailboats, smokestacks on the Titanic, missile launchers on battleships or even strokes of paint to show damage and wear on aircraft carriers. 

However, Sang’s favorite design has always been the stripped-down ferries and sampans endemic to the Mekong Delta. 

“I use the boat theme in my gifts to the child patients, hoping that the imagery would help them champion their struggle with pain and diseases and retain their grace, innocence and positivity each morning they wake up,” Sang said. 

Another bundle of gifts for child patients 

Shortly after completing his first round of gift projects for child cancer patients, Sang talked about his initiative in a Facebook update, which gathered an unexpected amount of support from concerned people.

The social media post helped gather material for Sang’s model-making work, as well as a considerable amount of money from benevolent supporters. 

On the afternoon of July 31, Sang was able to gift the children receiving treatment at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital with his usual model boats and also packages to help reimburse their hospital fees donated by Sang and his supporters.

“There were 13 patients who received VND5 million [US$215] hospital fee reimbursement each, while one received VND6 million [$258], which brings the total amount to VND71 million [$3,100]. The beneficiaries are all underprivileged children facing hardship in terms of hospital fees,” said Dinh Thi Kim Phan, teacher for child patients in the general medicine pediatrics department of the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital.

Huynh Sang is shown preparing ship models before gifting them to child cancer patients in this photo taken on July 31, 2020. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Huynh Sang is shown preparing ship models before gifting them to child cancer patients in this photo taken on July 31, 2020. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Sang is seen using a hot glue gun to craft his ship model. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Sang is seen using a hot glue gun to craft his ship model. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A collection of DIY ship models is displayed on a shelf in Sang’s house. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A collection of DIY ship models is displayed on a shelf in Sang’s house. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A ship model of a sailboat. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A ship model of a sailboat. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Sang holds one of his DIY ship models. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Sang holds one of his DIY ship models. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Sang holds a ship model replicating a battleship. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Sang holds a ship model replicating a battleship. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Sang (middle) is pictured completing one of his DIY ship models. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Sang (middle) is pictured completing one of his DIY ship models. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Volunteers supporting Sang’s philanthropic cause are seen preparing for a gift ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Volunteers supporting Sang’s philanthropic cause are seen preparing for a gift ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A child patient at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital takes a ship model from Huynh Sang. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A child patient at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital takes a ship model from Huynh Sang. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A child patient at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital receives a ship model from a philanthropic supporter. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A child patient at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital receives a ship model from a philanthropic supporter. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Child patients peek at ship models through the glass from the other side of the door in this photo taken at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Child patients peek at ship models through the glass from the other side of the door in this photo taken at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Parents of child cancer patients receive packages of milk from the philanthropic supporters. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Parents of child cancer patients receive packages of milk from the philanthropic supporters. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Tu Uyen, a child patient at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital is seen with her ship model gift. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Tu Uyen, a child patient at the Ho Chi Minh City Oncology Hospital is seen with her ship model gift. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A child cancer patient (middle) holds a ship model gift. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

A child cancer patient (middle) holds a ship model gift. Photo: Cong Trieu / Tuoi Tre

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Tuoi Tre News

More

Read more

;

Photos

VIDEOS

Experience summer sand-boarding in Mui Ne

Sand-boarding, a popular activity amongst local children in the coastal tourism town of Mui Ne in south-central Vietnam, is attracting hundreds of tourists to the Red Sand Dunes

Young maple trees given better protection as Hanoi enters rainy season

The trees are currently growing well, with green leaves and healthy branches.

Hunting skinks for food in southern Vietnam

Skink meat is known to be soft, tasty, and highly nutritious.

Vietnamese-made app allows people to grow real veggies via smartphone

Nguyen Thi Duyen, a young engineer in Hanoi, developed the app and its related services to help busy people create their own veggie gardens.

Chinese tourists hit by Vietnamese over dine and dash

Four Chinese were reportedly injured, with one having a broken arm.

Latest news