For Rose Buffong, the cement and glue of life can be boiled down to one powerful word. Family.
Having gone through the uncertainty and suffering of breast cancer twice, in 2003 and again in 2010, Rose, 67, found support and comfort in the arms of her three adult children.
“If I didn’t have them, I don’t know what would happen. They are always there for me. My middle one took me to chemo; my eldest stayed with me through surgery. And I live with my daughter. We’re very close knit. And I think they learned from what they witnessed growing up.”
So, too, did countless neighbourhood children living in the low income neighbourhood where Rose singlehandedly raised her children.
“Other children were always around me and called me Mummy. And as they grew into adults, they would say, “because of you, I’ve tried to make my life different.’ So when I’m a little down, I tap myself on the shoulder and I’m so grateful for my life.”