All my life I’ve always thought that one’s ability to watch pain in many cases is much greater than their ability to experience it. However, the greatest strength lies in moving beyond the pain.
I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia 3 months after I was born. Born in a family of four children. I was the third child diagnosed with the disease in my family. My two older sisters also had Sickle Cell.
Sickle Cell Disease is a genetic disorder that deforms the normal round red blood cells into sickle-shaped red blood cells. Sickle Cell is one of the few neglected NCDs in Kenya. Like any other NCD, pain is the main characteristic that defines Sickle Cell. This pain is known as a Sickle Cell crisis.
Yet, this one for me being in pain wasn’t as bad as watching my sisters and others in pain. For some reason it seemed like their particular kind of pain was much worse than what I experienced. All I can say is, with any disease, it’s so much easier to be jaded, but much more worthwhile to feel.
Would I trade the opportunity to experience pain away if given the chance? No. I don’t think I would be the person I am today without it. Strong, courageous and hopeful of a better world because I chose to do and see beyond it. I would not be on this storyteller journey. A journey that broadens my understanding of the story of self. And how my own story seeks to expand and allow the stories of a forgotten community to be told.