Haemophilia doesn't define me, says Manhunt Singapore 2018 finalist
Manhunt Singapore finalist wants to prove his strength despite genetic disorder
With his toned and tan physique, one would not expect Mr Nicholas Lim to be suffering from haemophilia A.
In school, he was picked on by peers who were unhappy that he was exempted from physical education due to his medical condition. They picked on the shy, frail boy, some even bit him and threw pencils at him.
Mr Lim, 27, told The New Paper last week at the press conference for the annual pageant Manhunt Singapore 2018, of which he is one of the 31 finalists: "By joining Manhunt, I want to come out of my shell. I want to prove to my bullies and the public that haemophilia will not hinder what I do, in whatever obstacles I face."
Haemophilia A is a genetic disorder caused by a deficiency of clotting factor VIII, which results in a form of bleeding tendency. Sufferers tend to bruise easily and bleed profusely if injured or cut.
In Singapore, about 200 people are affected by haemophilia A and B (deficiency of clotting factor IX).
Mr Lim, who is 1.72m tall and weighs 75kg, said: "Haemophilia is part of me but it does not define who I am. I want to stand out from the crowd and raise public awareness.
"Sufferers of haemophilia are often viewed as vulnerable and weak physically, but we are quite the opposite because of what we have been through - the needles and the pain from internal bleeding."
DIAGNOSED AT THREE
Mr Lim's condition was diagnosed when he was three years old. His parents found him covered in bruises and took him to the doctor, suspecting that he was abused by his then-nanny.
It was revealed then that the bruises were due to his condition.
Presently, he takes factor VIII injections every two to three days to keep the bleeding under control. The injections can cost up to $3,000 a month.
He also avoids contact sports such as football and rugby. Instead, he swims twice a week and goes to the gym four to five times a week.
Although his condition is stable now, it was severe when he was younger.
He recalled: "In the past, I often had to go to the hospital. It was tough for my family, especially for my mother, because it was so tedious and expensive."
His biggest health scare occurred when he damaged his hip as a teenager.
If he had not been rushed to the hospital immediately, a blood vessel would have burst and caused partial paralysis.
Mr Lim, who wants to repay his parents' sacrifice, added: "My mum is a strong woman and my pillar of support. I want to make her proud and tell her I love her very much."
Currently a demi pastry chef who runs online cupcake store, @mummysboysg, he hopes to open a Peranakan eatery in the near future.
He said: "I love baking and cooking, and I believe people can be touched by my food. I want to serve a good cause by cooking for the haemophilic community too."
On his mission at the Manhunt Singapore 2018 Finals on July 12, Mr Lim said he is determined to win.
He said: "I can choose to draw strength from my weakness and think positively. I have only one life so I will live it to the fullest."