Sunlight hurts her
Her condition is such that she cannot be exposed to sunlight.
Otherwise, she can break into skin rash or, worse, suffer internal organ swelling and damage.
But Miss Lee Hwee Leng loves the ocean so much that she has decided to work in the maritime industry.
From a young age, Miss Lee has had many fond memories of the sea during her outings with her father. They would go fishing in local waters when she was in primary school.
As she grew older, they started venturing into Malaysian waters at least once a month.
But in Secondary Two, Miss Lee developed a butterfly-shaped facial rash which spread from one cheek to the other. Combined with the frequent fevers and fatigue, she was confirmed to have Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
Dr Koh Wei Howe, a Rheumatologist and Physician at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centresaid SLE is an autoimmune condition that can affect any part of the body.It can be fatal.
Miss Lee said: "There were times when I got very depressed because there were many things I couldn't do."
She experienced dark thoughts that included dying, but came round with the support of her family and friends.
She will be graduating from Singapore Polytechnic with a Diploma with Merit in Maritime Business this week.
As a nod to her condition, she will probably be working onshore, to escape the worst of the sun's rays.
She said: "I believe that there are more people living a life worse than mine. So I should live my life to the fullest."
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