Melissa Lim founded the Brain Tumour Society (Singapore) or BTSS in 2014 and currently serves as its President.
Her personal mission to help the brain tumour patients and caregivers actually started further back in February 2004 from her first-hand experience as a brain tumour patient. She found herself isolated in her struggle to recover from the post operation impact arising from a 16-hour brain operation to remove a 3.5 cm acoustic neuroma. This experience closely echoed the lonely journey she shared earlier with her late mother who had terminal brain cancer.
Upon her recovery, Melissa decided to leverage on her personal experiences, both as a patient and caregiver, to bring hope and encouragement to those who are also struggling with brain tumours. She started out as the facilitator and programme manager of the Brain Tumour Support Group, which was an informal support group for patients and caregivers. She established BTSS on 5 Feb 2014 as an official platform to reach out to more patients and offer them more tangible support and services. Under her leadership, BTSS has grown to more than 300 strong in its membership with a wide range of programmes for its diverse community; such as befriending and support services, community bonding events, financial and practical assistance. Under her watch, BTSS has also created more visibility for brain tumour awareness in Singapore. Melissa was recognised for her contributions to BTSS when she was awarded the Singapore Health Inspirational Patient Award in March 2015.
‘Connecting to Befriend, Enable and Empower’, the mission statement that Melissa articulated for BTSS, remains her personal mantra today. Although BTSS has come a long way since its inception, Melissa aspires for much more to be done for the brain tumour community in Singapore, such as greater social acceptance and more meaningful and tangible support from the general public to help brain tumour patients cope and live well with their conditions. With the support and partnership of her EXCO and committee members, staff, volunteers and sponsors, BTSS was conferred the Singapore Health Inspirational Patient Group Award in 2020 in recognition of its patient-centric approach and its comprehensive peer support programmes.
Professionally, Melissa specialises in Leadership, Talent Development, Organisational Development and Service Excellence. As a Consultant, Trainer, Facilitator, Coach and Assessor, Melissa has worked with numerous international clients across diverse industries. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer with the NUS Business School.