Small but mighty Awele left a great footprint in the sand of life. At 25, Awele was a master’s degree holder with a determination to do so much with her life while she ballted with Sickle Cell Anaemia. She buried the fears of her battle with the sickle cell disorder, which started at age 10, to enjoy the gift of life that she had, while putting smiles on every face.
Today being the World Sickell Cell, we celebrate Awele for her bravery and commitment to fight her battles while enlightening people about sickell cell which is still a major health challenge in Nigeria. Just before Awele painfully exited on May 10, 2015, she left inspiring and educative words for those who cared to know the secret battles of sickell cell victims.
At age 10, she had a sudden health crisis and was rushed to the hospital. That was the first time her family got to know that she was suffering from the sickle cell disorder. Every time she had SCD crisis everyone in her family would be there to support her. But she couldn’t stand to see her whole family suffer emotionally, knowing that she could die any time inspite of all the treatments she got. When in pains, while growing with the disease, she slipped into her fears and began to question God even though many christian friends had advised her not to.
Soon she realised that there was more to life. She braced up, and decided not to live a sorrowful lifestyle. She began to read about SCD and discovered other medications and sickel cell health tips that helped her feel better. She started living her life and helping her family members see her as ‘Awele’ not as ‘Sick Awele’. She furthered her education and travelled a lot even though she had to take oxygen when on board because of her lungs. She didn’t let any thing stop her from being her ever-lively-and-fun-self, and she took time out to pray for and inspire other people fighting the SCD battle.
Today, we are left with Awele’s story, which is more than a diary but a reawakening call to every one. According W.H.O., Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a major genetic disease in most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr Silvanus Okpe, Head of the sickle cell unit of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH, revealed that about 3.4 million Nigerians are currently suffering from sickle cell anaemia while about 40 million Nigerians carry the gene of reproducing sickle cell patients. It is emergent to advocate for Sickle Cell Disease and the way forward in Nigeria.
Awele is just one out of the many great hearts and SCD warriors that fought and lost the battle for their right to live. Another victim would soon be claimed if we don’t wake up to the harsh realities of the SCD battles.
Watch Awele’s documentary;
Photocredit – http://www.iamjemila.com