It is a very bright day. The sky is so clear and blue, far from the ominous clouds of the previous day. Bate is happy. Today is the day he is going to ask his princess to become his queen for life. They are so much in love and she makes him happy. Everyone knows that. However, Bate knows she constantly worries whether his parents will approve of her. This is because Mandip his queen, is a Sickle Cell Warrior. Despite the fact that she understands Bate has wholeheartedly accepted her for who she is, she still worries about what the extended family would say…
The scenario above is a very common occurrence to many a sickle cell warrior. Many have to face relatives who capitalise on their health as a reason why their son or daughter cannot marry them.
‘That one go fit gi you pikin sef? Yi go die now now so’
‘Abeg ah wan see ma grang pikin dem. Nobi di half die go gi me them bahluck!’
Such negative reactions have made many couples to hide the health status of their intended from their families. Others have had to put up with a lot of taunting and agonising words from those who consider them more dead than alive just because they happen to be sickle cell warriors. Only very few are wholly accepted by their would be in laws.
‘You di dream for marriet say you fit even stay fo marriet house?’
However, like the first four articles in these Debunking Myths series, we will also see that there are more and more warriors who are just going about their lives, carrying out feats which continue to debunk myths about sickle cell and make people understand being warriors doesn’t make us less human than the next person.In this fifth sequence of debunking myths about sickle cell, I bring to you five sickle strong warriors who continue to prove again and again that what people say about us are always just that … myth.
Feed your eyes on these pictures of these warriors with their beautiful off springs.
Mr Ashu Egbe, who was our featured guest during sickle cell week in June, is here seen with his beautiful family. His wife and five beautiful kids. He is one of those who continue to defy and debunk the myths about sickle cell warriors again and again. His interview which is also a wealth of experience and encouragement to many warriors out there can be found here.
Anne Chantal, a strong sickle cell voice and advocate who was one of the first to join her voice to this awareness drive and the first person I ever featured is a journalist extraordinaire and an amazing mom to her adorable little angel. You can also read her beautiful story on being a warrior here.
Maryann Eni is a drug and alcohol project worker. She is also a talented cake maker and runs a company giftedhandscakes.com. She’s here standing with her kids. Please do check her Facebook pageand see her amazing works with her hand. I look forward to sharing her full story here someday soon.
E. E. Betty works with the ministry of External Relations. I have been privileged to spend some time with her and enjoy her inquisitive and super active but caring daughter. She did also agree to share her sickle cell journey with us during the month of June. You can read her story here.
Nora Brown is a sickle strong warrior mum of four beautiful kids. She’s three times winner of best cake designer the last of which was by OscarsUk Award 2017 an occasion where talent is recognized and appreciated. Congratulations, Nora. Patronize her talents if you are in the UK. There’s more to this amazing warrior and I also hope to one day share her story here. You can check her amazing cake projects on her Facebook page here.
Looking at these amazing warriors with their equally amazing families, it goes without doubt that again and again, many warriors continue to debunk the myths society generally would want to continue to impose on us. I don’t have kids but I have never been afraid of being a parent. However, I have come across many warriors who are really afraid of having kids. I think this is mostly due to the kind of words they hear people say. Like we are too weak or just not made for the long haul of parenthood. May these examples of these warriors defying the odds successfully inspire many warriors to just continue to live their lives and DREAM!
There’s no doubt that we may need a little extra care and attention, especially for the ladies during pregnancy. Nevertheless, anyone can develop complications during pregnancy. It has nothing to do with being a warrior. Also, it is good to know these warriors are not out to populate the world with more warriors. They know what is involved and so they choose their partners with care so that none of their off springs become warriors. And they remain in the best position to educate their kids about knowing their genotypes so that none of their descendants hopefully ever have to go through the same ordeal of living with sickle cell.
May these stories continue to inspire and motivate other warriors and may these warriors featured here find even more motivation from their beautiful off springs to KEEP THE FIGHT for as long as possible.
Thank you all amazing warriors for sharing a glimpse of your parenthood journeys. May this inspire many more warriors out there.
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