"A lot of difference" I thought to myself as I put together the last couple of stickers to distribute in order to create awareness during the last World Sickle Cell Day.
It was a beautiful day and I felt elated that a day like this has been dedicated to create awareness to Sickle Cell Disease, and also to celebrate the courage of all the Sickle Cell Warriors all across the World.
The Sickle Cell Community came together to reiterate the brutality of the dreaded Sickle Cell Disease, and the importance of finding an immediate cure. The importance of educating everyone out there about Sickle Cell Anaemia, and how to put an end to the cycle was addressed. Sickle Cell Advocates spent the day also educating the World about the importance of getting tested and knowing one's genotype.
According to Eckhart Tolle, "Awareness is the greatest agent for change". Creating awareness ignites the passion and desire of the people around to want to take the necessary steps towards making a difference.
In life generally, and in all of our endeavors, it is always beneficial to stay informed. Knowledge according to the popular saying is power and the more information you are exposed to, the more you are able to keep yourself and your loved ones away and free from unnecessary and avoidable illnesses, diseases or painful experiences.
Just as much as educating and creating awareness is important in the Sickle Cell World, a lot of awareness should be created constantly also for other life threatening illnesses in order to find a cure for those who have it already and also to put an end to the spread of the diseases.
You can touch the life of the people around you by educating them and sharing your experiences. Your immediate family might not be affected but your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers and even that passerby's life might be affected. If you are informed, share your information. Being enlightened can make a lot of difference in the perception of people towards a cause. Awareness therefore definitely makes a lot of positive difference in the lives of many.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can
use to change the world
- Nelson Mandela-
ABOUT SICKLE CELL DISEASE
Sickle Cell Disease is a hereditary red blood cell disorder. While normal red blood cells are round and flexible, in Sickle Cell Disease, the red blood cells are sticky and have an abnormal sickle shape and they could get stuck in small blood vessels, which could affect adequate flow of blood and oxygen across the body.
How do you inherit Sickle Cell Disease?
If each parent has either the Sickle Cell Trait or the Sickle Cell Disease, a child could inherit two abnormal hemoglobin genes from each parent thereby getting the disease.
Sickle Cell Symptoms includes Anemia, Painful Episodes, Swelling of hands & feet, Frequent Infections and Heart Attacks, among others.
Chronic Pain, Stroke, Organ Damage, Acute Chest Syndrome, Gallstones, Leg Ulcers, Blindness among other health problems.
Is there a cure for Sickle Cell Disease?
Drugs like Hydroxyurea have been known to help reduce the chronic pain and hospital visits but the only known cure for Sickle Cell Disease is the Bone Marrow Transplant, which could be brutal to the body organs.
Check Your Genotype
Genotypes are genes which are passed from parents to children. It is very important that you check your genotype and know what genes you have in order to avoid future painful surprises. There are four genotypes namely AA AS SS and AC. SS and AC are the abnormal genotypes, in other words Sickle Cells with AC being the most uncommon.
A person with genotype AA would be combinable with any of the other genotypes without a risk of having an offspring with a Sickle Cell Disease but there is a risk of Sickle Cell Disease with every other combination as shown below:
AA + AA = AA
AA + AS = AA or AS
AS + AS = AS or AA or SS
AA + SS = AS
AS + SS = AS or SS
SS + SS = SS
AA + AC = AA or AC
AC + AC = AA or AC or SS
AS + AC = AA or AS or AC or SS
AC + SS = AS or SS
Below is a diagram illustrating the possible genotype inheritance pattern of the offspring of two parents each having an AS Sickle Cell Gene.
SPREAD THE WORD & HELP ADVOCATE FOR A BETTER CURE.
HELP EDUCATE TO END THE SICKLE CELL CYCLE
WE ALL HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE A CHANGE