Inspired by grandma to fight diabetes

Inspired by grandma to fight diabetes
Miss Joy Sim at the Hair for Hope 2014.
PHOTO: Joy Sim

Temasek Polytechnic will be presenting 11 awards to its top students from next week during their graduation ceremonies. Tracy Low spoke to three students on what drove them to success.

When Joy Sim was 14, she saw how her grandmother battled with Type-2 diabetes.

Miss Sim felt helpless back then, but that experience motivated her to do a Temasek Polytechnic (TP) Diploma in Applied Food Science and Nutrition, from which she will graduate next month.

Now 19, Miss Lim is equipped to help prevent the risk of people falling victim to such illnesses.

"My grandmother's condition really inspired me to want to know more about nutrition.

"I didn't know that food had such a strong power to influence health," she said.

Her grandmother, who lives with her, is now 96 and no longer suffers from diabetes after controlling her diet. Initially, Miss Sim wanted to be a dietitian.

But after completing her internship at Changi General Hospital's dietetics department, she changed her mind.

"Dietitians actually prescribe diets for patients who are already suffering from an illness.

"And this reinforced my belief that prevention is better than cure.

"So I want to become a food scientist or a metabolic researcher instead, to work in the field of studying diabetes," said Miss Sim.

At TP, Miss Sim also showed a social conscience, raising money for charity.

She shaved off her hair for Hair for Hope in 2014 and raised more than $11,000 for the Children's Cancer Foundation.

"Actually I wanted to do it when I was 10 or 11 because I had a childhood friend who suffered from leukaemia.

"But I never had the guts to do it until two years ago."

She attributes her fund-raising success to friends, relatives and a staff member of the school who sent an e-mail to the whole school.

"That was how I raised more than $11,000," she said.

Miss Sim will be among only three recipients of the Lee Kuan Yew award from TP on May 6.

This article was first published on April 27, 2016.
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