Sickle Cell Awareness Month Has Shown Me the Power of Community

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by Tito Oye |

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We are in the middle of Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and I can look back on my time as a sickle cell advocate and feel extremely proud about how far we’ve come as a community.

When I started raising awareness about sickle cell disease by sharing my own journey, not many others were doing the same. There weren’t many resources out there I could learn from.

Many in the sickle cell community commended me for my bravery as I shared my story publicly, which was something they found difficult to do. Today, I see many of the same people starting to share their own stories to raise awareness about sickle cell in their own way. I am learning so much from these different perspectives.

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On Instagram, I follow the hashtag #SickleCellAwarenessMonth, and every day this month my feed has been flooded with hundreds of posts from people all doing their part to raise awareness. Seeing these things makes me smile, and I feel a greater sense of hope. I envisage a future in which more and more people know what sickle cell is, and consequently, this knowledge leads to more research and opportunities for sickle cell patients.

Moments in time like Sickle Cell Awareness Month remind me that I am not alone in this fight. So many of us are fighting for the same thing. There is power in this community, and our voices are being heard.

I have already seen so many great things happen this month, including people organizing and completing sponsored runs to support sickle cell charities, radio station hosts discussing sickle cell on their platforms, people signing up to become blood donors, others holding bake sales, companies hosting virtual events, and my personal favorite, people wearing red from head to toe to make a statement. I look forward to seeing what else this month holds!

Many things can be done to help raise awareness, and I would love to hear what you have planned. If the answer is nothing, I challenge you to do your bit — you can be as creative as you like!

I hope you have an amazing Sickle Cell Awareness Month!

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Note: Sickle Cell Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sickle Cell Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sickle cell disease.

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