Mermaid cake cheers cancer patient
SEOW Suat Hong may have difficulty eating, walking long distances or getting around due to a cancerous tumour in her stomach which causes her constant pain.
But talk to the 58-year-old about the intricate mermaid-themed fondant cake which she received over the weekend and she lights up with a bright smile.
"I never thought that my son would surprise me like this and I never thought that you could make a cake with mermaids on it," she said.
It was a cake adorned with 11 fondant figurines of Madam Seow and members of her family in mermaid and merman designs.
A "mermaid queen" representing Madam Seow sits regally atop the two-tiered cake in a large pink shell. She was touched to know that the cake was made for free by baker Priscillia Wong Pei En, a former colleague of the eldest of her four children, Lionel Peh.
Madam Seow has two other sons and one daughter, as well as three grandchildren.
The elaborate creation, which Ms Wong would usually charge up to $700 for, was hardly a piece of cake. Ms Wong spent a week making it, carefully sculpting each figurine and taking three-hour naps at times just to finish the cake.
Madam Seow's story strikes a cord with Ms Wong, whose own father died 10 years ago at age 45 due to colon cancer.
"I just want to give her some strength and positive energy, because you never know what that can do, it might work miracles," Ms Wong added.
Mr Peh, 33, an air steward, had come up with the idea for the cake as his mother likes mermaids.
He approached his former colleague, Ms Wong, who now runs a baking business specialising in customised cakes, Ximicake.
Mr Peh said: "I knew it was quite a short time for a custom-made 3D fondant cake but Pei En told me not to worry and to leave it up to her."
Ms Wong hand-painted each figurine's features and moulded each figurine's hair, which took about two days. This was in spite of two other orders she had on her hands then.
When the cake was presented to Madam Seow at a family gathering at Aloha Loyang resort over the weekend, friends and relatives were impressed.
"All of my relatives were saying it's the most beautiful cake they have ever seen," said Mr Peh.
Madam Seow liked the cake so much that she initially stopped her family members from cutting and eating the cake, a chocolate fudge with chocolate ganache.
She later relented but kept all the figurines, which are edible but currently resting in her refrigerator.
The surprise delighted Madam Seow whose cancer is not responding to any treatment.
She is now taking medical morphine to regulate her pain.
"Ever since I've been diagnosed with cancer, I've been very unhappy.
"I worry every day about what will happen to my children and my husband and I can't bear to leave them," the housewife said.
But seeing the cake had cheered her up immeasurably.
"It was the happiest moment of my life," she said.