Sickle Cell… these two words have been known to send a dreaded chill down the spine of many people. This is usually thanks to misconceptions and lack of adequate knowledge and sensitization concerning the condition. Many have erroneously assume that being a Sickler is tantamount to having the Grim Reaper’s knell constantly knocking at the door of their lives, waiting for the least opportunity to snatch away that precious breathe that could mean the difference between life and death.
To be sure, life as a sickle cell patient is not all roses or chocolates. There are thorns mixed with headaches and dread. However, it is a condition that stems from genetic blood disorder often passed on to kids by parents who have the defective gene AS that causes the condition and which is common in people mostly of African descent.
This by no means indicates that sickle cell patients are living life with a heavy dead sentence hanging precariously on their necks ready to pull them down any time.
Thanks to advance in technology and medical knowledge, everything that there is to know about sickle cell from when it was first discovered till date can be had at the touch of a button in any of these numerous search engines. Ironically, with all the wealth of knowledge which keeps being updated daily, many have remained frozen in their misconceptions about the condition and continue to treat people with sickle cell with fear and sometimes disdain and apathy.
It is time to break the silence. It is time to speak up and encourage people to get educated about the disease. It is time to shout far and over the roof tops that sickle cell is a condition and not a death sentence. Neither is it as a result of witchcraft. A Warrior’s Diary will be doing this often and if anyone is willing and ready to join in this it will be very much appreciated.
- we can empower
- We can sensitize and educate
- We can empathise and stop the stigma and apathy
- We can succeed in spreading the word that Sickle cell is a condition and not a death sentence.