The Follow Up BN Post

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.

xoxo.

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Follow up post

Hey guys. So I’ve been having the most difficult time uploading the follow-up post on my visit to Mama Onikoyi-Laguda. Bear with me as I try to figure it out.

For now, feel free to read my other post and follow us on the Red Umbrella Charity Walk going on this morning… #scdwalk4life or follow through my IG.

Later 💖

WSCD 2016 Fundraising

There are very few days in the year that has been set aside to highlight the importance of awareness and education of the blood disorder known as Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). World Sickle Cell Day (WSCD) is one of those very special day, as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2008 and first celebrated on June 19th 2009. According to research, SCD is one of the main causes of premature death amongst children under the age of five in various African countries, Nigeria being the only country with the most cases of Sickle Cell Disease. WHO declared SCD a public health issue that needed much attention, so this day was set apart as the day out of the whole year where awareness and public knowledge is pushed. It is a day celebrated around the world, to spread awareness and educate the public about the disease, managing techniques. This year, several sickle cell providers and organizations have several events lined up to further spread the awareness for the disease.

In the past year or so, I have been in touch with few NGOs in Nigeria just to feel them out and see how my vision and passion for the cause will fit in with theirs and Nigeria as a whole. On my recent visit to Nigeria, I linked up with couple of them ; I did couple clinic sessions where I got to talk/educate and meet few members of these NGOs. I met little kids as well as adults living with sickle cell, I got to meet few parents and caretakers of some of these people, as well as medical persons who volunteer their time and knowledge (paid and unpaid) to help tend to the many people who turnout to these monthly clinic sessions. I enjoyed every minute of it and left Nigeria inspired, which leads me to this post.

This year’s World Sickle Cell Day, only few more days away, I am taking a step further by initiating a campaign to support sickle cell outreach. It’s not news that the Nigerian healthcare is lacking, more so for those with sickle cell disease. My campaign is to those living with scd, who cannot afford basic treatment, to be able to get medications and treatment supplies for free. A GoFundMe account  has been initiated to raise money for these needs, feel free to donate any amount (in any currency, if you want to donate Naira please let me know and we can setup a way for you to contribute). and remember to share with your friends and families.

June 8th will be ideal for deadline, to make sure everything is ready for WSCD week. Yes, that is literally a week to fundraise a sum amount of $5,000, but I’m totally counting on you. I hope you will join me on this campaign and share with others to as well.

Also, there is Red Umbrella Walk on June 11th, to celebrate SCD and spread awareness, check it out, sign up and come out to support if you are able. I would love to meet/see so many of you.

 

Till Next Post, Ciao!

 

World Sickle Cell Day 2016

…Is few weeks away, what do people out in these streets have planned?!. Doesn’t matter where, feel free to share with me what program(s) you have planned for that day or the week, I know this year’s celebration falls on a Sunday. So far, I have seen healthy fruits/veggies challenge for the weeks leading up to the day, but the way my taste buds are set up, I don’t think I can survive a day on just fruits and vegetables. My hats off to those participating in that, I will be supporting you guys from afar. I do plan on increasing my water intake though, so help me God, in this hot weather we’re starting to see (thank you Jesus for the sunshine, we dare complaineth not). I have also seen some walks organized in different parts of the U.S and in Nigeria, I hope to make one this year, I will keep you updated on that.

Comment below what is going on in your neck of the woods for #WSCD

Ciao.

My Hair Story: Pt 1

Hey y’all… I noticed I haven’t posted/written anything relating to hair/hair journey in general; although my Instagram once featured a tad about my natural hair journey but has since halted (kinda) mainly because I had a second big chop that left me super confused about my hair. There was little to nothing to do with my new look, except the constant protective styling I did for a year plus now. BUT it has been 15 months post second big chop and my hair seems to be thriving, I’m trying to get back into the swing of things with all thing natural hair. I want to continue to share some of my experiences.

Where to begin… so from the time I was born, my hair has always been natural. I either had plaited hair or cornrowed hair when I was younger, I cut my hair couple of times in between that because as a child I hated doing her hair, in fact I hated hearing other children in the neighborhood playing while I was in between some relative’s legs, pinned down to a stool, so I asked to have my hair cut couple of times, lol. When the time came to go into secondary, I had a low cut aka TWA.. good times, looking like a boy (NOT!)

My first relaxer experience happened when we relocated to the U.S. I had been going to school with rubber plaited hair (sigh, when I tell you my mother did me wrong, I mean (-_-)..) since 7th grade. Boy did I have the hardest time adjusting already, my hair only contributed to it more than it helped. Though, I made some pretty cool friends from it too. I will never forget my first day at my last middle school, I was starting a new school and a new grade then, I stood with the other kids at the bus stop and I noticed this one girl who was also waiting. We (my mom and I) asked her if that was the spot for the school bus going to my school, and she said yes. When I got on the bus, she sat at the back and I was in the front part of the bus. She came to me and talked to me a bit and asked about my hair, I had wool plaits in that day. When we got to school, everyone was in the cafeteria for breakfast, all the kids were seeing each other after a long vacation and were all so loud catching up with each other. This girl from my bus stop happened to notice that I was by myself, so she called me and introduced me to her friends, she was one of the very popular kids in school. Anyway, before I further digress, my hair got me to make friends with this lovely girl who was definitely one of the kindest people I ever met in my entire life, she left such a great impression on me. We later went on to the same high school and for our 4 years there she had my back, and was just super sweet and kind to me. It was pretty devastating for me when I heard about her death, shortly after starting our first year in University. I still remember my friend Mariangeli Carmona, aka Maddy.
We lost one of the best human being and I miss her everytime, I always try to imagine what she’ll be doing if she was still here with us, nothing short of amazing things I’m sure. RIP Maddy.

After the ever consistent questions about my hair and the common WHAT IS THAT ON YOUR HEAD questions, and even a little bit of bullying – yo middle school kids are of the devil! They are the most wicked little bunch of people you will ever meet. I got pretty tired of having to explain my hair to people, and what I had done to it. It didn’t help that I was already such a dork and so uncool, I got tired of it and wanted to fit in so I asked my mother “please for God sake, I want to perm my hair.” She was pretty understanding of why, because by that time I had gone through too much trying to adjust in this new environment and system I was thrown into. That was the beginning of anything hair for me. From that point on I basically started caring a tad bit about hair. I maintained a healthy hair from then on, I was a minimalist though; I wrapped my hair when I remembered to, which was almost never, I had trims sparingly, I hated greasy hair and therefore did not really put products in my hair, and even with all of these I had a good length of healthy hair for the most part. I had permed hair from year 1999/2000 till 2/12/2010.

All through the periods I had perm, I always had one complaint/dissatisfaction with my hair, and that was the frontal parts of my hair seemed thin to me, especially after a fresh perm. I don’t know why that bothered me and remained so at the back of my mind. I would try to tease it and make it fuller but that never did work. That was actually what prompted my decision, I wanted to try and regrow my hair, so I ditched the creamy crack.