Cancer Stricken Teen Who Loved Golden Retrievers Dies


A teenager with brain cancer who loved golden retrievers died on Sunday. If you haven’t heard about this very loving boy, his Make a Wish Foundation wish was simple. His wish was to pet a lot of golden retrievers. Really, don’t we all want to do that?

The Wish


Lahl Isaac, who turned 13 last month, had his wish to pet the dogs fulfilled when about 100 retrievers showed up at the Botanic Gardens for his birthday party on Sept 17. The party, organized by ophthalmologist Leo Seo Wei and other dog owners, drew a crowd of about 200, many of whom came with gifts for Isaac.

Cancer Leads to Dire Situation

His mother, teacher Tan Mei Lee, 54, told The Straits Times that he was admitted to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital last Tuesday with a high fever. “His tumor had affected his organs. He had weak lungs and had to use a ventilator,” said Madam Tan (

“The doctors said he wouldn’t last the weekend. He wanted to go home, so we rushed him home.” Isaac was discharged on Saturday and died the next day at home. Said Madam Tan, “I did not expect him to go so soon. I was hoping for his condition to improve. Choking back tears, she added: “At least he’s not suffering.”


Dr. Leo said she visited Isaac in the hospital last Thursday with her husband and son. She said: “I am quite shocked. He was still in good spirits when we saw him. He was even keen to join me and other volunteers at a dog cafe this Saturday.” His positive spirit will stay with her, she said, adding: “Isaac showed us how the simple things which we take for granted could light up his life. It made a difference to him.”

Madam Tan said she was thankful to everyone who had helped Isaac, including those who came for the golden retriever party, the hospital staff, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, sponsored a trip to Tokyo in August for Isaac, his parents, and his older sister. There, they visited the Pokemon Centre, the zoo, and an owl cafe.

Madam Tan said many people contacted her with offers of help after reading about Isaac. Former Malaysian politician Lim Ah Lek even introduced them to a sinseh (a traditional Chinese herbalist) in Kuala Lumpur and paid for two rounds of treatment. “He was a stranger, yet he was so kind and so concerned. I want to thank him and everyone else for their kind thoughts,” she said.


If this story doesn’t get you teary-eyed, then I honestly don’t know what will. I always believed that dogs were one of the most pure creatures on this Earth. They love us and are loyal to us, no matter what. Even though we are very flawed creatures. Hearing about this dying teenager, who just wanted to pet some furry dogs makes me think that he was right up there with the dogs in terms of purity.