After a recent stint in the hospital, I began researching documentaries and photo series about sickle cell. Disappointed by what I found - sad stories, stories that narrow in on the pain and, stories that tell how there is no cure, I decided it was time for a different narrative. One of strength, hope and joy.
People living with sickle cell are often call one another warriors. So I contacted my closest warrior friends and began discussing what it means to be a Sickle Cell Warrior.
Being born with Sickle Cell Anemia has its ups and downs. This disease has humbled me, and through that humility I've developed a better spiritual relationship with GOD. My image represents a fighter who wins. Yes, I may fail and go through pain, but during those times, I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I fight through it, refusing to stay stagnant and walking equipped with the full armor of GOD. He never said that we will not go through pain, but rather He will be with during rough times (Isaiah 41:10) This picture represents me being an individual born with Sickle Cell Anemia, fighting, and winning!
Ultimately, the goal is awareness on the social and medical front. Sickle cell disease is considered an orphan disease and primarily affects minorities. As such, it is often neglected by the medical community and lacks funding from the government and other sources. Lack of funding means that medical professionals are unable to conduct extensive research to further understand the disease or space to be innovative in treatment.
On the social front, people need to be aware of their genotype and have a better understanding of what it means to have the trait and the disease.