Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a single gene disorder causing a debilitating systemic syndrome characterized by chronic anemia, acute painful episodes, organ infarction and chronic organ damage and by a significant reduction in life expectancy. The origin of SCD lies in the malarial regions of the tropics where carriers are protected against death from malaria and hence enjoy an evolutionary advantage.
I am a survivor, a warrior of this MAN made disease called a vaccination to fight Malaria Disease in Africa. Although I may be immune to Malaria (through Mosquitoes) none of the scientist thought of the consequences that would happen when two vaccinated people came in together to naturally reproduce. So YEARS and Ancestry later I AM BORN …. my story. I was born in a small Caribbean island St. Lucia. As far back as I can remember my first crisis was 6 years old. I was hospitalized for such excruciating pain known to child. I remember being given our version of Tylenol cannot remember if that worked or how long it did. More or less when two of my sisters came to visit me I lied and told them the doctors said I could go here me. Don’t judge I was born in the early 70s when security was not an issue so no one noticed. I continued with life living in excitation pain that I had no real answers for, took no medications except for natural sleep. I later lived in Canada when I was 8 years old and through a crisis was diagnosed with sickle cell, yet no one informed me because they did not understand or was educated enough or had the knowledge on how to conceptualized this. So, life moved on in and out of crisis until I turned 16 and now living in the United States and for the first time in my life 2 years went by and I had no crisis. I felt I was cured and pain was a thing of my past until that not so glorious day when I found out I was pregnant and to top it all off I had a disease called sickle cell and the knowledge that came with this horrible disease will eventually cost me my life, but not before it brings me suffering and pain like no other. My son’s father also had to get tested which revealed he has what they call a trait basically one half of the full gene I had. We could never have kids together (well to late for that I was pregnant). Unlike me, he was knowledgeable about this disease because several members of his family has it. I think what has stung the most about having Sickle Cell Disease was the only man I loved telling me after seven years that he wanted more kids and since we could not have anymore together it was for the best ” AFTER” I found out he had gotten someone else pregnant. (A story for another post). Sickle Cell a disease that has brought me many years of pain and grief that I will not go down without a fight. I have Sickle Cell disease, Sickle Cell do not HAVE ME!!