Mary Shaniqua,  —

Mary is a 30-year-old London-based sickle cell patient using her experiences to build up others and raise awareness of what it’s like to live with a rare disease.

Articles by Mary Shaniqua

Why I Sought Therapy With a Trained Psychologist

People often tell me that I make living with sickle cell disease look easy. It is not. Whenever people make these types of comments, I always think that because I was born this way, I don’t know any other life — not really. For the most part, I have grown…

My Concerns as COVID-19 Restrictions Are Lifted in the UK

Most COVID-19 restriction laws were lifted in England on July 19. This includes mask requirements, social distancing rules, work-from-home guidance, and the rule of six, or the maximum number of people allowed at a social gathering. July 19 has been dubbed “Freedom Day” here in the U.K., but I…

For World Sickle Cell Day, Read About My Reality

World Sickle Cell Day is upon us tomorrow, June 19. Following are memories that illustrate sickle cell’s ugly grip on my reality. *** The year was 2018 and the British Society for Haematology Annual Scientific Meeting booked me to speak about sickle cell pain management. I live…

Why We Need Better Doctor-patient Communication

It has been a while since I last wrote. This is because unfortunately, I had another hospital admission. I was admitted in mid-April and discharged last week, so I was hospitalized for quite some time. I had a sickle cell crisis, although I’m uncertain about what caused it. I…

What a Top-up Blood Transfusion Looks Like for Me

I am scheduled to have a blood transfusion today. So, I want to take this opportunity to explain how I prepare and what this means for me. I have previously written about my treatment and medication regimen. In that column, I explained that I underwent exchange blood transfusions…