For over two decades, Mr Jeremy Sim, 39, has been collecting Star Wars merchandise, amassing at least 500 items, which are together worth thousands of dollars.
He plans to sell them and donate the proceeds to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), where his wife was treated for neuroendocrine metastasis cancer before she died in May, aged 36. And knowing their two-year-old son, Zachary, will be lonely, Mr Sim is building a life-size version of R2-D2, a droid in the Star Wars universe, to keep him company.
Mr Sim has been a fan of the sci-fi franchise ever since he watched Return Of The Jedi when he was five. His wife, Madam Camella Fong, was also an avid Star Wars fan, and they had Star Wars-themed photos taken for their wedding shoot.
The two engineers met when Mr Sim rejoined his company in 2009 after a year away, and they married the following year. In July last year, 14 months after giving birth to Zachary, Madam Fong was diagnosed with stage 1 cancer. She underwent surgery to remove her ovaries, lymph nodes and womb several days later.
But her cancer was aggressive. In November, it spread to her lungs, liver, pelvic area and bones. She died on May 21, a week after Zachary’s second birthday.
Grateful to KKH, Mr Sim will be selling his collectibles at the Singapore Toy, Game & Comic Convention at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre on Sept 9. The cheapest item will be miniature figurines going at $25, while a life-size Darth Vadar helmet will be going for at least US$600 (S$820).
Mr Sim is building his son’s R2-D2 droid using aluminium, resin, and LED lights. He plans to call it R2-CF, with his wife’s initials, and it will include artificial intelligence, thermal imaging and facial recognition capabilities.
Mr Sim said Madam Fong collected milk powder for less privileged families and visited hospitals to counsel women suffering from cancer. Nearly three months after her death, Mr Sim still messages her mobile phone frequently, telling her he misses and loves her. He tags her Facebook account whenever he posts pictures of Zachary too, knowing she will miss him.
Each item will be tagged with a minimum price and buyers can donate more if they wish. All proceeds will go to the KKH Health Fund, which supports education, research and disease prevention programmes related to women’s and children’s health.