Over the week, I kept seeing different updates from different social media all saying #RIPAwele, at first I just scrolled past, but when the same name and face kept popping up I felt I should dig deeper into the cause so I messaged one of the many people and asked what took her life. The pain I felt when I heard she lost the battle to SICKLE CELL. It was like rain falling in my head cause right there I started remembering loved ones and friends who had died from the same ailment, I even remembered friends and loved ones still suffering from it. I went back to Instagram to read stories about her, and then it hit me that I had actually watched her documentary a year ago about her battle with the disease, I even cried back then while watching it cause I didn’t understand how she did it, she was so strong while telling us about her battles, she was full of life and even on her sick bed was still cracking up.
I remembered reading an article about a lady and her husband who were both AS and as the writer put it “love conquered all and even with their incompatible genotypes decided to get married” This family unfortunately lost a kid to sickle cell, they adopted a child and God blessed them with another who turned out AS. Reading that article I was so mad and irritated at the writers choice of describing the family. I started accusing parents who had kids with sickle cell for actually knowing the risk they stand getting married and the fact they still go ahead with it. But after doing a research, I found out a lot of people do not even know about it, I started asking people around me if they knew their genotype, and while talking to my uncle about the whole sickle cell and how genotype compatibility was necessary, he confessed he honestly didn’t even know that was how it came about. He just felt some people were just born that way, he didn’t realize it was related to genotype.
Sadly this is the story with many others, A lady with a 2year old daughter actually found out how sickle cell is gotten when she was 5 months pregnant, by then it was too late, therefore decided to start an awareness before her kid was even born and today her awareness is doing really well. There are people who have this illness but decide to hide it cause of society, and what they will say. Some hate self pity so buckle it up just to avoid it.
The pain they feel, the inner war they have to fight, the struggle to survive. These people are the real MVP, They are the strongest of warriors and it is only right we support than lash out at them, We should all stand up and encourage each other. We don’t have to not be SS to actually speak out. We should all learn to work together, donate blood if we can, and lend a shoulder when we can. Cause believe it or not, these little gesture of kindness will go a long way.
Rest in peace to all the ones we’ve lost to sickle cell anemia and for those fighting, remember. We are all praying and here supporting you always.