IN the year 2008, World Sickle Cell Awareness Day was established by the United Nations and has been celebrated from June 19, 2009 onwards.
This day has as its focus to raise awareness and increase public awareness of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).
SCD is a hereditary illness which affects both children and adults and results in various complications, premature death, or death. Sickle Cell Disease is characterised by abnormal haemoglobin in the red blood cells.
The person suffering from SCD has a number of crescent-shaped blood cells which sometimes get stuck in their small blood vessels and result in tremendous pain (or crisis).
This change in shape of the red blood cells is caused by the sickle haemoglobin when the oxygen is removed. Persons with SCD therefore, have lower levels of oxygen and tend to get tired quicker.
For more information on Sickle Cell Disease or how you can help, contact the Sickle Cell Association office at Tapion or call 284-6736.
Below is a poem written by a member of the association in commemoration of World Sickle Day under the theme; “Moving Forward by the Grace of God.” (S.C.A.)
I have an illness which doesn’t promise longevity
It tries to rob me of any Levity
The pain of a clogged artery
Provides no form of flattery
That consistent hammer-like pounding
Like a torture forever resounding
Whilst I suffer, I pray for relief
With an abundant portion of belief
The will of God will never take me
Where the grace of God will not protect me
You who have that illness too
Be strong despite it suffers you
You may be wounded, you may be scarred
From many activities you may feel barred
This monster may attack your organs
Maybe in a ruthless abundance
Amidst your pain and your sorrow
Breathe and look forward to tomorrow
Because the will of God will never take you
Where the grace of God will not support you
We have an illness which seeks to rob us of joy
Whether man or woman, girl or boy
It aims to leave us feeling hopeless
And render us weak and helpless
It has no mercy for you or me
It tries to have us feeling empty
But united, let us join in one accord
And move forward by the grace of God
Because the will of God will never take us
Where the grace of God cannot sustain us