In college I raised $52 for cancer. I walked miles in my achy body because I supported cancer research, but also because it was the most relatable cause I could find. Like sickle cell, cancer patients called the hospital their second home.
Everyone cares about something outside of themselves. It’s the definition of humanity. It’s the reason there are advocates who walk miles for a cause.
However, I have found an undeniable shortage of people advocating for sickle cell. Our biggest supporters are the ones fighting with and for sickle cell disease, a blood disorder that produces misshapen red blood cells that deprives oxygen to very organs needed to survive. Alongside us are few; only those close enough to have a personal stake in our health.
Maybe we live in a world where we must see the direct connection between ourselves and sickle cell to share our attention. Why else would the most commonly occurring genetic disorders be severely neglected? Are my words enough?
On June 19th, World Sickle Cell Day is like our second birthday because it gives us a chance to enlighten a receptive-for-the-day world on the fact that the connection between you and us may not be as distant as you think. Conversations about sickle cell would make the difference between educating millions or the continued neglect for my condition.
We deserve your shared help with our burden and for you to walk alongside us. Aren’t we worthy enough? We want humanity for sickle cell.
I’m Cassandra Trimnell, and that’s my perspective.