Head chef of Strangers’ Reunion Sebastian Tan, 28, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer with tumours in his lungs, brain, spine and bones died on 28 June (Wednesday).
In a Facebook post, the cafe said: “We are very sorry to have to inform everyone that our Head Chef, Sebastian, passed on earlier this morning.”
Two years ago, when the cafe in Kampong Bahru Road took to social media to raise funds for Tan’s cancer treatments, crowds turned up in droves, local news media The Straits Times reported.
Tan, who is a Malaysia citizen, was working at the cafe since it opened in 2013 and had no personal insurance.
The cafe also added that Tan was “amongst family and loved ones” when he died.
“His was a battle hard fought, and he remained strong and positive throughout. We take comfort in the fact that he is no longer in pain, and remember him dearly for the wonderful individual he was. Thank you to all who supported Sebastian through his life’s journey. Please keep his family and loved ones in your prayers during this difficult time,” the cafe said.
In an interview with The New Paper in December 2015, Tan said he was surprised when his employers told him about the fundraising idea to help him with his medical expenses.
More than 1,000 people showed up on the first day of the initiative at Strangers’ Reunion and sister cafe Curious Palette.
The response on the first day was so overwhelming that the cafe owners had to turn some customers away, The New Paper reported.
Tan told the paper he didn’t expect the response to be so good and was touched and grateful.
Top image features the late Sebastian Tan. Photo via Strangers’ Reunion’s Facebook page.