Dunstan Nicol-Wilson,  —

Dunstan is from South East London, United Kingdom. He works as research manager in the National Health Service in England and has master’s in public health with a global health focus. Dunstan was diagnosed with the “invisible disorder” sickle cell disease from birth. He hopes that his column will raise awareness for this disease, encourage others to share their stories and showcase all the ups and downs of living with a rare condition. Dunstan loves anime, cooking, and Manchester United.

Articles by Dunstan Nicol-Wilson

Left to Avoid a Crisis, Right to Trigger One

I love playing adventure games, especially those in which your decisions affect the story’s outcome. For example, if you choose to steal, you’re a villain, and if you choose to share your possessions, you start down the path toward becoming a hero. The choices may be small in the grand…

It’s OK Not to Be OK With Sickle Cell Disease

Representation of different people in all areas of society is key to empowering the next generation. Having a role model that looks or talks like you validates your own experience. But as a Black man with a chronic condition, role models in my community were few and far between. For…

My Career Was Shaped by Sickle Cell

I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing people who have given me the space to grow and develop. These experiences have been invaluable, and as a manager, I’ve been sharing them with junior staff to help shape their own journeys. In doing so, I’ve reflected a lot on…

Should I Leave My Safe Space?

In the past, whenever I had a sickle cell crisis, I often felt like I’d made a mistake. It was my fault that I’d triggered the episode. Thoughts such as “Why did I do that?,” “I am so silly,” and “I never learn” would cycle through my mind. Each…

My Support Network Is More Than an Audience During a Crisis

I’ve often considered myself unlucky to carry the burden of sickle cell disease, which sometimes seems insurmountable. The journey can be isolating. I have aches and pains that nobody can see and emotions I’m still learning to process. In many situations, I’m constantly thinking about myself, particularly how to avoid…