I have a friend, name withheld, who I cherish a lot. She’s someone I talk to when I get the chance, my fan and one of my biggest critiques. She is a lovely lady, with a wonderful career and life ahead of her. Well educated, very vibrant and strong in her views and principles. Gives the best advice and always does her best to be there for everyone she knows. In the early years of our friendship I noticed there were times she’d tire out quickly when we’d go to the beach with friends and run around playing games. I used to tease her and call her lazy and she’d just smile and give me a come back. As we got to know each other I noticed she used to take a lot of tablets/pills. Me being a bit ignorant will say to her “tablets are not food o! This your diet nawa! “. And she’d just smile and laugh. Last year she got into a serious relationship with this wonderful guy she met. Seeing them together some friends and I started preparing ourselves for the wedding bells to ring.
Fortunately and unfortunately, they never rung. I remember calling her one day and hearing her sniffing on the phone. When I asked what the problem was she broke down in tears as she narrated what had happened. She had gotten wind of her boyfriend’s intention, so she asked for his genotype. He was AS. I still didn’t understand what the problem was. After another round of tears she then revealed that she possessed the SS genotype. It all started making sense to me. The tablets, the fatigue, the weird illnesses, the pain and all. She never told me or much people because of the stigma she felt. She didn’t want people looking or treating her any different from others. She didn’t want that to be what makes her unique or different. She didn’t want the identity of a Sicklier. It was not her choice to go through this suffering or have her courage tested this way.
Today my friend is a heavy campaigner for the awareness of the scourge that is sickle cell. She has inspired me and other friends to spread the news of a disease that kills hundreds of thousands in sub-Saharan Africa, hundreds of thousands in the Caribbean’s and many more in third world countries especially. Most people suffering from this trait are doing so as a result of the lack of awareness. They say knowledge is power and prevention is better than cure. Therefore, it is time to use our knowledge to fight the good fight. Share our knowledge to prevent others from coming into this world with no option than to suffer from this disease. My friend doesn’t deserve what she’s going through, neither does anyone with the trait.
On Saturday 29th of August 2015, Cookie Jar and Sickle Cell Foundation of Nigeria will join forces to raise money for this great cause. On that day, Cookie Jar will be releasing the Sickle Cell Cupcake, called ‘Ebele‘ (Mercy in Igbo). Proceeds from the sale of the cupcakes and donations will be going to the foundation to aid their campaigns. I urge and implore everyone to come to our store at 20 Admiralty way, Lekki phase 1 and join us to Fight Sickle Cell.
For donation, Email: [email protected] | Phone: 0809 203 1111