Supporting Migrant Workers: Ava's Cancer Journey


Ava remembered that when she heard the doctor say it was stage 3 breast cancer, she didn't cry herself. Instead, it was her employer who took her to the hospital for the check-up, holding her tightly and crying loudly in concern.

Ava's been in Taiwan for nearly 12 years, she's totally comfortable with Chinese, and she's been looking after an elderly stroke survivor for over 7 years. She's got a good bond with him and his wife. Last year, Ava noticed a lump in her breast, but since it didn't hurt, she didn't think much of it. As time went by and the lump didn't go away, she casually brought it up with the elderly man's wife. When she heard about it, she got really worried and quickly booked a breast cancer screening at Chang Gung Hospital, going with Ava for the check-up.

The test results came back, confirming it's breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. When the employer found out, they cried and told Ava, "You're going to be okay. For the sake of your family back in Indonesia, you've got to fight hard and beat this in Taiwan!" Ava turned around and comforted the employer, saying not to worry, that she'll face it bravely now that she's here.


The shelter staff remember the first time they received Ava's case. Her employer reached out to us on her behalf, after learning about how we assist migrant workers with cancer. They personally brought Ava to our Indonesian shelter and even bought her a lot of nutritional supplements for cancer patients.

We've been helping migrant workers with cancer for a long time. We provide them with a place to stay and meals while they receive treatment. We accompany them to the hospital and help with translation. For those in critical condition, we use donations to hire daily caregivers for intensive treatment.

Over the years, we've been there to support many migrant workers as they peacefully complete their final journey in life. At the same time, we've also witnessed many workers successfully recover and return to work after undergoing extended treatments. We'll be with Ava, helping her through the discomfort of chemotherapy, and we believe that with proactive treatment, the disease can be managed effectively.