Rare Parkinson's Heroes Who Changed the World
Mr. Lloyd Tan is the icon and hero of the Parkinson's community. His spirit lives in us forever. Let us feel his energy as he guides us to live with Parkinson's, reaches out to us to give hope and inspiration.

Mr. Lloyd Tan first met his wife, Mdm. Yap Yun Kin, while both of them underwent training at the Malayan Teachers’ College, Kota Bahru in 1954. In 1963, both of them were married. They had two children, Wilfred Tan and Sheryl Tan, who were born in 1966 and 1968 respectively.

1960 – Malacca
Mr. Lloyd Tan and his wife on a holiday

The following are excerpts from an article which was written by Ms. Sheryl Tan;

God blessed him with 71 years on this temporary place called earth, and for the most part, he lived them to the maximum.

When his children were young, his family took priority, and he took his family on outings. Childhood, he believed, was just a few fleeting years, and children should be allowed to enjoy it, and not carry any of the adult responsibilities they would eventually need to learn. He was a devoted husband and father.

One night, we came home late after a function, and my brother and I had fallen asleep in the car. Our father carried us upstairs, both at the same time, and I remember being drowsily happy in my father’s arms, thinking that he must have been the strongest man in the world.



October 1970 – Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Tan celebrating Wilfred’s fourth birthday

Left: Wilfred and Sheryl with the “strongest man in the world”. Right: Wilfred blowing the candles with the help of his loving mom and very cute little sister

1979 – The family outing at Fraser’s Hill
Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Tan with Sheryl and Wilfred at the back

As a husband and father, our hearts will always be filled with clear memories of a cheerful, laughing man, one who always joked, even on the telephone, and often broke the silence with hearty belly laughs. Laughter, it would seem, was truly the best medicine for him then.

He was always active, always on the go, and one who loved having supper with the family. I recall our numerous night walks, down to the coffee shop nearby to buy home and share his favourite “hokkien mee”.

As his family, we often gave him small and seemingly insignificant items, but they must have held unsuspecting sentimental value for him as, unbeknown to us, he kept these items over the years, never finding it in his heart to dispose of them.

As the years flew by, this teacher began to invest more time in school-related activities. His students became his children, as he took his scouts and Christian Union students on numerous outstation trips, providing them with lifelong learning experiences. Their care for him through his golden years, and attendance at his funeral, bore clear testament to the care and concern he had always shown them. Being a generous and selfless man, he always put others’ needs before his own, but never seeing the need to attend to his personal requirements and desires. Yes, he touched many lives in ways teachers seldom do. That was my father, always giving to society.

A caring man, during his numerous trips outstation for work or official scouting activities, he never once failed to call home, and his returns home were always celebrated with “Welcome Home!” signs at the door, accompanied by joyful barks of our family dog.

1991 – Welcoming Sheryl back upon the completion of her studies at Canada
From left: Mrs. Lloyd Tan, Sheryl and Mr. Lloyd Tan

Being stricken with PD could probably the cruelest fate dealt to an active man like him. He told me it was like being caged because the body would not do what the mind was willing to.

He faced what seemed insurmountable frustrations, yet amidst it all, he decided to start what is now known as the Malaysian Parkinson’s Disease Association. In hindsight, that was probably his last hurrah, his last ditch effort in contributing whatever he still could, while he still could.

Despite it all, he was still human, just like the rest of us, and numerous times, he succumbed to depression.

1988 – Celebrating Wilfred’s graduation at the United States
From left: Mr. Lloyd Tan, Wilfred, Mrs. Lloyd Tan and Sheryl
2002 – Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Tan with granddaughter at home (Section 11, Petaling Jaya)

 

2005 – The last family photograph of the Selfless Warrior
Standing (from left): Sheryl, Wilfred and Mrs. Lloyd Tan. Seated: Mr. Lloyd Tan

Years ago, he told me he wished he could stop living. He hated the life he led. He felt he was a prisoner in his own body and was a burden to his family.

Again, the body would not do what he was willing to, though this time, it was the heart that was let down. He shared some of his regrets, and to a certain extent, that gave him a sense of relief, having said it out to the persons who mattered.

He lived life to the fullest and I believe he was happy for the most part of it. He chose to live his life as he wanted to, and committed himself to society and to God.

He fought the battle, and won. He’s home at long last.