Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sickle Cell Anaemia

September is sickle cell awareness month

I'm aware September is all but over, this is a post I have been planning for a little while but just haven't gotten round to. There have been a few bloggers who have beat me to it so I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of it all.

Miss Ginger invited me to participate  in a survey a little while ago about sickle cell anaemia and its effects on society in general, it made me think long and hard about how people treat people who are 'sicklers'

I have two beautiful friends, both of whom are successful, funny and a joy to be around. One of them has been looking to get married for about 4 years now. She has no problems getting boyfriends, its as soon as they get serious and she presumably has 'the talk' with them, they run a mile. No one wants to be tagged as being married to a 'sickler'.

My question is how DARE them? Who the hell is ANYONE to judge someone else and refuse to be with them as a result of a disorder they have? Tomorrow is promised for NONE of us, the very same guys who are running a mile now could very well contract HIV or terminal cancer in a few years. Would they then feel like they are not worthy of love?

My other friend, I've known since I was 12 years old, she is the smartest, bravest, most beautiful person I have ever met. She used to get so frustrated st Secondary school when people treated her differently because of her health, I remember her always being picked last for sport with me. The only difference is that I didn't actually want to be picked at all (different story for a different day). She is the reason I started giving blood when we moved here at 15. I know there probably next to no chance of my blood being passed on to her but the thought of it helping someone possibly in her shoes is more than enough to keep me coming back

I've also heard the other side of the coin, 'two AS' should not get married, they should not think of having kids as its not fair to the children to feel pain'. I know a couple who where tested and were fine. During further testing when the wife was pregnant, it was discovered that she wasn't in fact AA, she was AS, this put their kid in the 25th percentile of being born with sickle cell anaemia.

 I ask the sickle cell brigade, what should they do? Abort the child who already has fingers and toes, a heartbeat, fully formed organs because it doesn't fit into the norm of what is socially acceptable?

My problem is with the prejudice people have to face everyday over something they have no control over, its simply unacceptable. More emphasis should be placed on the fact that anyone who has this disorder is a person first and should be treated as such.

My name is Pretty Lashes and I'm proud to say that I'm not narrow minded. Can you say the same?

xxPretty Lashesxx

I beg of you all, if anyone is 'AA' and based in the UK, PLEASE GIVE BLOOD, YOU NEVER KNOW WHO'S LIFE YOU MAY BE SAVING.

image source (google)


  1. God BLESS YOU!! like really really bless you for writing this. I name is 9jaFOODie and I'm proud to say that I'm not narrow minded.

  2. I see where you are coming from. However, even though in this present world ignorance is not an excuse,I still give exception to those who didnt/dont know. For instance, in the case of the pregnant wife. She didnt intentionally get herself into that situation. And when you say prejudice, I wonder what you mean. I ask this because even though I havent had a close enough relationship with a carrier yet. But once in elementary school, it would have been wicked for this one carrier to be drafted into anything strenuous, like sports. Even when we were all to be punished, she never got punished. If she mistakenly got punished, you could be sure that the mum was coming for a show-down the following day.
    As for two AS, they can get married. There are ways around it. But first, the consciousness has to be there and secondly, intentionally damning all consequences of their child bearing actions is selfish.

    My name is HoneyDame and I am not that not narrrow-minded.

    Btw, how is Mr Lashes?

  3. thank you 9ja foodie for dropping by :-*

    HoneyDame, thank you too for dropping by, I can understand the people living in the remotest of villages being ignorant, I'm talking about people like you and me, people who have access to a wide variety of information but still choose to be ignorant.

    Prejudice is pretty much that, not allowing someone to play sports, not punishing them. There is no reason a carrier shouldn't play sports (at least on the level we did in secondary school), at the age of 13, when all a teenager wants to do is fit in, it only serves to make them stick out like a sore thumb.

    The couple are already married, they are expecting their first child and I agree with you wholeheartedly that disregard for any potential harm their child may come to is irresponsible. The issue now is if the child does have this condition,I'm worried about what the quality of life will be like for her; with so many ignorant people around.

    Mr Lashes dey o, giving me wahala as usual!


  4. i wouldn't call it disorder what ill say is i just wish people are not just too ignorant the world will be a better place for the so called sicklers.I am not that narrow

  5. Applause Pretty.
    I think you expressed better what I wanted to say in my post, 'The person must come before the disease'.
    You also raised very important points..if we continue with this blaming attitude towards carriers and sicklers that means we may get to the point where we would deny help to carrier parents because we are punishing them for their irresponsibility which then affects the child subsequently.

    I have a dream...keep talking :)

  6. Lovely post!! I'm ashamed to say i've never donated blood, but i'll try to do just that before the end of the year

  7. I guess it's all been said. I'm also proud to say that I'm not narrow minded.

    BTW, I just gave you the versatile blogger award in my latest post. Check it out and please pass it on.

  8. I love that you blogged about this, as it's something quite close to my heart, with one of my close friends being SS and me knowing quite a few carriers of the sickle cell gene. Here are my few thoughts...

    Truth is that even though there are a lot more advances in treatment for sickle-cell related complications and many 'sicklers' now live longer, sickle cell disease is life-threatening and we can't ignore it. Whilst I think it's silly for people to run a mile when they meet someone with sickle cell, the example you gave about the guys possibly getting HIV or cancer in the future is not exactly the same because sickle cell is preventable even before birth, if you know about it, whilst cancer for example, sometimes just happens. Our grandparents and those before them didn't know about genetics and blood group/blood type testing and they probably lost a few children to sickle cell and called it something else, but now we do, and can do something about it.

    I have a very close friend with sickle cell that has been in and out of hospital a few times and whenever I've seen her in so much pain, it makes me think; why would I want to take the risk of putting my child through that, given the information I know?

    I completely agree that we should not discriminate against people with sickle cell, but if we can prevent it, why shouldn't we? That's the reason we have advances in science and technology- so we can make informed decisions, e.g. when it comes to marriage. On the subject of marriage, even some pastors would advice against marrying someone that is AS if you're also AS. Personally, I think it depends on the faith of the couple and there have been many testimonies attesting to this- God is ALL-mighty and anything is possible with Him, but I would have to be absolutely convinced of who God wants me to marry before I make a decision that could affect the lives of my unborn kids. I know a true story of a couple that knew they were both SS but went ahead to marry and six (yes, six) dead sons later, the husband left his wife and married someone else so he could have healthy children. We need to use our heads, not just our hearts sometimes.

    I'd like to think I'm not narrow-minded :)


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