Diana Goh Chern
My name is Diana and I was known as Goh Chern during my days in College. I was in 06S23 and was a happy member of the College’s Harmonica Band. Today, I am a Science teacher at Serangoon Secondary School. I went through the education system much like other Singaporeans. But there is a side of me that is not so ordinary.
My journey has been full of ups and downs. I was born with a congenital heart disorder, and with the heart disorder followed multiple failed heart surgeries where attempts to cure my condition were futile. I have been in and out of hospitals many times and I have had seemingly never-ending palpitations. I have once felt so distraught and hopeless about life that I even thought about ending it. While trying to earn more money to provide me with a good education, work took a toll on my parents’ health and at the age of 15, I realized that there was no more family income to keep us going. I had problems managing my academic studies and that was aggravated by my poor health. For quite some time in my life, I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. But it was those times when I learnt the greatest lessons. It was those difficult times that spurred me to put in my best effort.
In the later part of my teenage years, I discovered a hurtful truth that left me distressed for a very long period of time. I found out that I was actually an orphan who was born into a maternity home and was fortunately adopted by my current family. That whole process of finding out about my background changed my perspectives drastically. That was the time in my life when I was taught the greatest lesson on love. I learnt to love people unconditionally and to forgive my biological mother. I learnt to cherish the people and things I now have. I learnt, most importantly, to appreciate and love everyone.
Life was hard and now it continues to be, but along the way, sources of my motivation have come in many ways. In late 2007, I was given the Stars of SHINE Award. I devoted a lot of time to doing community service to help the intellectually disabled and chronically ill. For my service to the community, I received prestigious awards in school and beyond, as well as opportunities to represent Singapore at the ASEAN Youth Conference held at Thailand. That waswhen I started my journey as motivational speaker.
Today, I share my life story with many people so that I can make an impact on someone’s life. I am contented and happy. The people around me have given me all the support and encouragement I need. I wish to help people the way many have helped me. This is also the reason why I decided to join the teaching profession because I know that as a teacher, I would be able to do that. Now, I meet many young ones who are going through what I have gone through. It is these lives we need to touch. I love every child like my own, the way my parents love me. And I really hope to teach them what my parents have taught me - a lesson on love.
I am an ordinary Singaporean and I have made the best out of what life has to offer. Be courageous and brave the storms that you face. At the end of each day, learn to appreciate the perfect imperfections and count your blessings.