This past July, I traveled to Oklahoma for the Miss Black US Ambassador Pageant. As soon as I landed in OKC, My feet and ankles started to swell, and I was overwhelmed by unrelenting pain. Unfortunately, the high altitude and flying in a pressurized aircraft culminated in an epic sickle cell crisis. When I returned home, I experienced a "different" type of pain in my leg. So, my husband and I went to the emergency room. The Physicians found a superficial blood clot and my blood levels were extremely low.
After a three-day hospital stay and two pints of blood, I was released from the hospital. This time, I was given new medications which included a blood thinner that I need to inject myself with for the next 30 days. To add insult to injury, my hematologist gave me specific instructions not to fly for a year. I was devastated!
I planned to be a Team Captain for the Sickle Cell Walk with the Stars will be a walk and 5k run held in Baltimore Maryland. It was my intention to help the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America raise funds for finding better treatments and a cure for Sickle Cell Disease. In addition the walk will seek to create an awareness, education, and advocacy for the disorder. Sickle Cell Walks will be carried out across the Nation creating a surge of advocacy and awareness surrounding Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
Thankfully, 2015 Miss Black US Ambassador, Ebony Andrews and 2016 Miss Black Teen US Ambassador, Sectra Okundaye will take my place and be the co-captains of Team Ambassador.
If you would like to support the cause, you can join Team Ambassador, or you can also find a walk/run in your area.
About Sickle Cell
Sickle cell disease affects more than 100,000 individuals throughout the United States. A disease invisible from the outside, sickle cell disease is a condition where individuals do not have the right amount of healthy red blood cells to deliver enough oxygen to the body. The lack of oxygen delivered to tissue can cause sudden attacks and severe pain called crisis that can occur without warning. Currently there is no cure for SCD.
About The Sickle Cell Disease Association
The Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, Inc. (SCDAA) serves as the nation’s only organization working full time on a national level to resolve issues surrounding sickle cell disease and Trait. Since 1971, the organization has been on the forefront of improving the quality of health, life and services for individuals, families and communities affected by sickle cell disease and related conditions. In addition, SCDAA has been and remains instrumental in promoting the search for a cure for all people in the world with sickle cell disease.
One Step At A Time
Since launching in 2013, I have come to the realization that I cannot be discouraged by setbacks and disappointments. If you have a vision or a passion that is constantly being deterred by obstacles, you are not alone. No one is exempt from the trials and tribulations of life.
You must give yourself the grace to make mistakes.
You must give yourself the grace to be human. According to 2 Corinthians 12:9, Jesus said: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Do not be discouraged about what you can't do in your power! Breathe, take your time and allow Christ's strength to work in you.
Thank you for your anticipated support.