So, it’s another year to remember those who are anemic, the Sickle Cell group. Some would call it a blood disease but for me, you are just different and NO, it’s not a death sentence but a condition one must find ways to deal with especially now as the pandemic has placed them as vulnerable individuals.
This year, I took a moment to reflect on the friends I’ve lost to this dreadful stigma. My Sunday school teacher, Brother Isaiah was the coolest, most respectful person I ever knew in my tender years. It’s been over 20 years since he passed but he made an impression on me that has lasted till this very day.
Gloria Adejoh, My high school classmate and the sweetest girl. She was classy, fun-loving and had so many aspirations even though we were young and didn’t know where we would be heading, she seemed to have it all figured out.
We almost share birthdays and a love for poetry and art. What hurt the most, she got selected to study her dream course; French, but she didn’t live to fulfill it. I wept, it hurt. About 15 years down the line, but I remember her every June and at a time like this.
The list is never-ending. There are women who have been denied the chance to have children or be with their true love because; sickle cell keeps rearing its ugly head reminding them of their limitations.
We need to find a common ground to support all those affected by this hurtful outcome. Awareness isn’t the only way out. As sisters, we should always speak to one another about the importance of getting tested. Tell each other the truth about what happens when you ignore the obvious.
It isn’t just about you but the future after you and the generations of feeble youths you will be breeding if you don’t take a stand. As I said, it hurts but it’s not a death sentence. Your voice is the channel for hope today.