New Face finalist Alexis Cook isn't letting Type 1 Diabetes stop her
Self-assured, easy-going and motivated, it is no wonder Alexis Cook is not letting Type 1 diabetes slow her down.
The second-year law and management student at Temasek Polytechnic was diagnosed with the incurable chronic disease last February. The 18-year-old of British and Filipino descent keeps her condition under control by taking at least four insulin injections a day, and is also required to keep track of her blood glucose levels throughout the day.
Her biggest medical scare was when she was rushed to the accident and emergency department by her mum when she lost almost 7kg in a week, felt nauseous and weak, and had blurred vision.
That was the day she found out she had Type 1 diabetes.
After a series of tests, she discovered she was also suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, which made her blood highly acidic.
Alexis recalled: "I was told that if I had arrived at the A&E a couple of days later, it was very likely that I would have fallen into a diabetic coma which would have led to death if untreated.
I have decided to be open about my diabetes in my everyday life... because I hope to bring some attention to it. I’d love to find other Singaporeans with this condition and start a support group.
"I spent a couple days at the hospital as doctors tried to bring my blood sugar level and blood ketones back down to a safe level and taught me how to adjust to life with diabetes."
She added: "I have decided to be open about my diabetes in my everyday life as well as throughout this competition because I hope to bring some attention to it. I'd love to find other Singaporeans with this condition and start a support group."
Who is your favourite model?
Naomi Campbell. I think a lot of people admire her not only because she is an iconic supermodel with a mesmerising runway walk, but also because of her bold personality and wit.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I have a bucket list that contains items my family and friends would not expect. For example, I want to travel to every continent and visit as many countries as I can, and I have always wanted to try skydiving or take a trip on a Zero-G flight.
What is your spirit animal?
A wolf, because it is a sociable animal that also needs to spend some time alone. They can pick up vibes and tensions in the air which is something I am quite good at. I am not sure if I am as courageous as a wolf, but I do think I am capable of leading if the need arises.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I love de-stressing by making houses in (video game) The Sims 4 and can spend hours building and furnishing them. If I wasn't studying law and management, I'd be trying out design.
What is the proudest moment of your life so far?
When I was awarded a Temasek Polytechnic Freshmen Scholarship. I was happy that my efforts throughout secondary school paid off and were recognised, and relieved that I was able to take some of the financial burden off my mother's shoulders, even if it was only for the first year of my polytechnic education.
Creative director: Yeoh Wee Teck
Photographer: Desmond Wee
Make-up: Cosmoprof Academy
Hair: Kelture Salon
Stylist: ZH Tan
Main photo, shot at Subaru Hub Toa Payoh Lor 8: Warehouse
Street photo: H&M
Writer: Sherlyn Sim
Layout: Marlone Torres Rubio
Project managers: Irene Sim, Joy Tang