Jeremiah Tan

Scoring a goal for his future, para-athlete is recipient of LASALLE's Dare to Dream scholarship

Looking at Jeremiah Tan for the first time, one will never imagine the immense amount of confidence, independence and passion this 20-year-old holds within him.

Diagnosed with rickets from a very young age, and subsequently dealt with a brain tumour and dyslexia, Jeremiah had to endure questions about his bowed legs during his growing up years. But all that never fazed him. In fact, it contributed to his unbridled love for football, which propelled him to a bronze medal winning in the 8th ASEAN Para Games with Singapore's cerebral palsy football team.

Motivation through football

For Jeremiah, who is pursuing broadcast media in LASALLE College of the Arts, his days can start as early as 5 am and end as late as 11 pm. He has to juggle school and football training, especially before the ASEAN games, but says he manages somehow. When asked what prompted his love for football, Jeremiah admits that it started out with him and his friends finding the sport cool and graduated to it being a game that "brought everyone together".

Sharing his feelings about his condition, Jeremiah confided that it was not easy for him to make friends especially when he was younger. Fortunately, he managed to do so through football, a game he described as being "like an international language that speaks to everyone."

Jeremiah supports the EPL team Chelsea whose mascot is a lion, just like Singapore's. He also follows players such as Frank Lampard for his professionalism. Jeremiah feels that he has much to learn from such players in the way they talk and carry themselves on and off the pitch, and that is what will make him a better footballer.

Showcasing his passion

Besides football, Jeremiah also expressed a deep fervour for cinema and film. He explained that the reason he chose to study broadcast media was due to his love for ‘moving images or rather, any image' and that the story telling behind this is very strong.

In an impressive achievement, Jeremiah has directed and produced his first short film "Chapter 23", which was shortlisted for the National Youth Film Awards 2015. The film has been available for viewing on YouTube since April 2015. He shared that "Broadcast media is definitely one area that I want to pursue because I have a goal that I set out to achieve and that is to reach out to as many people, with or without disabilities, so that we can reach a common platform."

It is Jeremiah's intention to use his two passions to raise awareness of disabilities and not just accept the disabled into our community. Through his participation in competitive sports, he wants people to know that the disabled are as competitive as the abled-bodied. Through broadcast media, a fast moving tech medium which he thinks is how most people absorb more information, he hopes to share snippets of his life.

Thankful for family support

When asked about his family's support for him through the years, Jeremiah is extremely grateful. "They have been very supportive of me and on that front, I think I've been very well covered by my mother, father and sister. They have always been like a backbone for me especially at the period of time when I was struggling with hospital visits amidst trying to have a normal education".

"It was tough but with all the unfortunate developments that happened, good things always followed. So from then on, you are able to count your blessings. You manage to pull through with a lot of support coming from everywhere."



Scoring big in life

With one goal in mind, Jeremiah wants to prove that people with physical disabilities can also achieve their dreams if they put their minds to it.

Team Singapore at the ASEAN Para Games 2015

In the thick of the action

For a job well done

Chapter 23. A short film directed by Jeremiah Tan.

Restless. A video that Jeremiah Tan produced in collaboration with four Level 3 LASALLE Diploma in Music students in 2018. Jeremiah was the producer and lighting grip while fellow members filled the roles of director, camera op, editor and art director. The film revolved around the lives of a writer, a tinkerer and a girl. Watch how their lives are mysteriously and inextricably woven together to portray a deeper message of curiosity, boldness and perseverance.

Extraordinary People: Rickets and brain tumour no barrier to sporting success

Jeremiah's love for football and all things artistic is illustrated in his gallery of engaging Instagram photos.

His creative streak on the sideline


Rickets is a disorder that causes children's bones to be weak or soft, stunted growth or skeletal deformities. It is primarily caused by a lack of Vitamin D which is important for the absorption of calcium and phosphate that is essential for the development of strong, healthy bones. Rare inherited problems can also cause Rickets.


These could be signs or symptoms of Rickets:

  • Delayed growth
  • Delayed motor skills
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pain in the spine, pelvis or legs
  • Skeletal defects, e.g., bowed legs, knock knees, breastbone projection, curved spine
  • Dental defects

Your GP may be able to diagnose rickets through a physical examination, blood tests to check for Vitamin D, calcium and phosphate deficiency or referrals for bone x-rays to check for bone deformities.


The most common cause is a diet lacking in Vitamin D and calcium. Other factors that may increase a child's risk of rickets include maternal deficiency in Vitamin D during pregnancy, premature births resulting in insufficient time to receive the vitamin from mothers, exclusive breast feeding without Vitamin D supplementation, dark skin (which has more of the pigment melanin which reduces the skin's ability to produce Vitamin D from sunlight) or living in geographical areas with insufficient sunlight.


A diet high in Vitamin D and calcium, such as fish, liver, milk, eggs and dark leafy vegetables can prevent the vitamin and calcium deficiency. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers will be advised by their doctors on Vitamin D supplementation.

Most cases of rickets can be treated with increased Vitamin D and calcium intake or supplements. Exposure to sunlight, but not over exposure, helps our bodies to make Vitamin D. Follow the doctor's directions on dosage for Vitamin D and calcium as an overdose can be harmful.

For some cases of bowed leg or spinal deformities, the child might require special bracing to position the bones correctly as the child grows. More severe skeletal deformities might require corrective surgery.

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