Happy Sickle Cell Awareness Month!!! Looking forward to what this year has in store for me to do and learn, although I don’t know how involve I’ll be at this point in time, but I will keep up with you all and all your wonderful posts, so feel free to share your awareness posts. Don’t be like me who for the last 2 months not share any posts but that will be corrected today. This post has been long overdue and by God it will go out today (I promised myself)… so here we are.
As many may of you may know, I shared a very special secret that I kept for months, wow that was 2 months ago (sigh). To read more about it, check here.
I’ll like to start by saying that I have had this post drafted and attempted to upload immediately the post went live on Bellanaija, but was having the most epic difficult time uploading in Nigeria, and then I got back and life just happened … so this post is coming uber duper late than ever anticipated, for that I ask for your forgiveness. I seriously hope this is the last attempt because I really want to share these precious moments from that day with you all, so please pardon the lateness. I hope you still enjoy it and are inspired by it.
So my visit to Mama Laguda, the oldest person living with sickle cell disease, was so profound that not enough words can fully describe it. There were so many moments that still to this day gives me chills. I’ll like to walk you through that day through the snapchat videos and pictures I took.
The trip started off with me ubering myself to Genotype Foundation office in Ikeja. I sat there with Aunty Dorcas aka Mummy Genotype, and her co-worker, she said something to the effect that we were going to catch buses and an okay… lol I panicked, I can’t even front. It sounded very stressful and long but I was not trying to be difficult, plus I just wanted to meet Mama Laguda so badly and was not going to let anything (not even myself) get in the way of that, so I obliged. We walked to the bus station, which in itself had my heart palpitating (lol), walked over the cross bridge for the first time in my life and was scared y’all. Eventually got to the bus station and got on a bus, and boy what a ride that was
I was so dedicated to this trip, that no bus ride in a danfo could talk me out of it even though inwardly I was freaking out, uncomfortable (squeezed in between other passengers, and sitting on the hardest seat ever). I’ve not been in a public transportation in Nigeria in a hot minute, and I couldn’t wait for the ride to be over. I clutched my phone and purse, as I sweat profusely. Yes maybe I am a bit dramatic but you would be too.
We finally got off at the stop and was told we’ll have to go over the crossing bridge that was high as heck. Let me tell you going up was a struggle for a out of shape person like myself (haha) but I found a way to distract me from the pain; snapchatting came in handy
I made it in one piece, just to find out we have to take an okada to get to Mama’s house, as my luck would have it we couldn’t find one and so we walked… Lemme just tell you, at that point I almost collapsed, the sun was literally not helping my hustle that day too. But onward we went…
Then we finally were by Mama’s door steps… On the second floor of her two story building
We were With Mama for hours and they were one of the best time I’ve ever spent with anyone. I sat and spoke to her, I sat in silence for most of my time and just tried to absorb her in the few hours I had with her. I asked her what advise she can share with those living with sickle cell…
And there you have it, the world oldest person living with sickle cell. Such a humbling experience, inspirational and exceptional. I hope you were able to take one or two things away from her like I did. Stay strong and keep fighting, the impossible can happen through you too.