Ideally I should talk about this in the health section, but I'm raising it as an issue for real talk because it's painful that as much as this disease can be easily prevented or avoided, ignorance has caused the prevalence to be so high with people of African descent, Nigerian accounting for most cases.
Firstly, there are four genotypes that can be found in humans... AA, AS, AC, SS (sickle cell patients bear this genotype). Now the normal blood genotype is the AA; AS and AC carry the sickle cell gene but this dormant. Such people still live normal healthy lives. Now it's common practice to have intending marriage couples to test themselves so as to make sure they are compatible for reproduction. It's been made a compulsory requirement in almost, if not all religions like Christianity; however, few people feel that it's just a mere limitation if both partners have AS genotypes with the belief that LOVE supposedly conquers all or that their faith in God would handle everything and anything that comes out of such a marriage.
I had this gist concerning this matter with some of my colleagues a while back, as I was trying to create some awareness based on the issue. Someone asked "So if you and your fiancé now are about to get married and you find out you're both sickle cell carriers (AS) you would back out?" My reply? Of course I said I would back out. And then he said if so, it would mean I never really loved the person....that's the type of mentality I'm trying to address today. With marriage is not just about you and your partner anymore...you have to put the future that comes with it too into perspective. Now why would you want to bring in children into the world only to make them suffer? Why would you put your kids you claim to "love" through pain and anguish and then watch them die a very agonizing death? Please where is the love and humanity in that?
I've encountered sickle cell patients...the ones that died never made it past their early twenties..... most of them had really promising futures. And they could not achieve their dreams, why? Because some couples decided that they loved themselves so much they'd rather damn the consequences and bring child into the world knowing fully well what's going to happen. I know most of them keep singing the "had I known" phrase because they definitely did not foresee the hell ride they set in motion by deliberately producing a sick dying child. So much for being in love.
To me, I think anyone who gets married having full knowledge of what's to come because of his/her decision is both very selfish and inhuman. Some will then run to their "faith in God" and say God will handle it all and make a child you deliberately made sick, healthy again. I'm sorry to burst your bubbles, but that's not how He works. The saying you can't eat your cake and have it is as real as it gets. Don't expect God to come to your aid when you single handedly ignored every test, sign and warnings from society and religion and got married notwithstanding you and your partner's blood genotype. You chose love right? Let your love fix your child! It baffles me when people give me that love crap and use it as an excuse for selfishness....truth is until you lose a close one or your own child to the disease, you can never really know first hand the pain, the agony and the lasting heartbreak that comes with it.
I wish to God no form of institution would allow partners having AS genotypes to get married no matter how much pressure they may put on it. Incase you still don't know how this works, I'd tell you now.
- AA + AA = Compatible
- AA + AS = ''
- AA + SS = " although you would have only children with AS genotypes
- AS + AS = INCOMPATIBLE!!
- AS + SS = INCOMPATIBLE!!
- SS + SS = INCOMPATIBLE!!!!
Please don't be selfish and claim you're in love. Protect your future and that of your unborn child(ren). Think of not just what that child would have to deal with for the rest of his/her life, but also the trauma both emotionally and financially that you would suffer as a parent.
This post is in memory of all the fallen warriors who have lost the battle to Sickle Cell Anemia especially Luka and Awele. Lord knows you guys were strong and fought bravely. I knew Luka personally, we danced together and were in the same group in church. I got the news of her death while in school and I practically lived in denial. I never said my final goodbyes or paid my last respects... I never brought myself to make contact with her family, in fact I pulled away totally... I could not even write RIP because I felt it was just easier numbing myself and acting like nothing happened. I'm so sorry Luka...I know everyone that knew and loved you still misses you till date. I'm sorry you had to leave soon. But I take solace because now God can make you happier than you were here on earth. I'm sure you probably laughed at my silliness from up there...
Awele....I never really met her, but I followed her journey on Path (a social app). Her documentary on YouTube broke me...it was almost as if I could feel her somehow.... They and many others fought hard...really hard....they could have been future wives, husbands, parents, ambassadors, probably could have found the cure for SSA.......their lives were cut short....
Sickle Cell Anemia is no JOKE!! Please let love not account for your ignorance. Join the fight against this disease....Awareness is key... Protect The Future!
Stay blessed darlings, still yours truly, Krystal....let's talk :)