Because of the stigma associated with sickle cell many individuals prefer not to identify that they have it. When I was diagnose at 25 years of age, I was told not to tell anyone that I had it. My first question to that statement was why? Is it contagious? It’s about time for us to have a new conversation about sickle cell. There is nothing to be ashamed of – no one did anything wrong. Living with sickle cell builds courage, determination, endurance, perseverance and strength. Aren’t those the qualities each individual needs to succeed in life? that’s who you are. Those who truly love you will see that.
As a parent to a beautiful 6 year old who has SC, it's hard to explain to people. It's not something you can readily look at someone and tell that they are fighting a disease. To many, I may look like an over protective mom, always prepared with water, snacks and clothing for temperature changes, but that is what mothers of children with sickle cell anemia have to do. I constantly get "oh just let her be a kid", but until you explain how exposure to extreme heat, cold or dehydration affects your child's health, you'll constantly feel that stigma. Share your story, advocate for yourself, for your children and stomp out ignorance with your words and your experiences and once you've shared that much, invite those who may now understand your story to donate blood.
Dominique Collins @dominiquelildc 3h Question: if you have the Sickle Cell trait is giving blood a good choice to make???
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