A Warrior,Professional Digital Marketer and a Lawyer.

“My Name is Awonaike Lateefat Oluwaseyi, I will be 25 years old in October, living with sickle cell is being an adventure, from school, work, home friends but am grateful to God for the amazing people he has placed in my life even though its not been easy, when I was really young my Dad and his Family said I won’t live past 16 and I lived past 16 and then they said I won’t live past 18 because then I was actually very sick, I was in the hospital for months and unconscious and they were like “aswo” we said it and its happening but then, am here today and am grateful to God for that.

During my school days, I lived life in school aware of my struggles, there was a time I wrote an exam on a 10% PCV, and immediately I wrote my last paper I was rushed back to Nigeria, how I survived away from family, home, medical doctors till now is still a miracle. My mum looks at me and is always thankful because when I was going to school my family and friends were like going so far from home to school (PORT NOVO) was not a good idea but I made it and graduated with a 2:1. My family has been really good to me, my friends are awesome (Mabel, Dapo, Seun,Chinwe, Tochi) they are always supportive. I have the best friends and family in the world.

I have lost a lots of friend to sickle cell, which is heartbreaking because the hurt it leaves makes me want to fight harder, living with SCD is not been easy and God has placed people in my life who have empathy for it, and actually see efforts I put in,I have to double my efforts  to prove myself all the time. I really don’t have troubles getting jobs currently am at a stage were I have the skills and I know what I want but before this time  I went for a couple of  interviews which were successful, but things went south each time I revealed my status, the employers will be like “are you sure you can work?, do you have the strength? “and it pisses me off, given the job I had to work twice as hard  to prove myself all the time that am not lazy, I can take care of myself and am not disabled even disabled people work, I have make sure I don’t relapse and so that people don’t say “we said it” I have  a thing with  we “said it and then its happening”.  been an SCD patient doesn’t limit my productivity, I have gotten a lot of I will get back to you in jobs and its really frustrating and depressing but I snapped out of it and I am here today doing well in my current job.

Stigmatization, I knew who I was from a very young age, I built up this confidence and mentality that no one is worth the struggle, no one can ride me,anyone that says negative things about SCD is really silly and I don’t allow such bother me.

About relationship, I have a lot of male friends but  not really had any attraction to guys not by choice though; just that a lot of guys these days are not to be trusted, I have not really kept much effort on relationships I just know when the right person comes I will know.

I cope with SCD,  with the help of God, my mum, family and friends, I know I would have been a weaker person if I wasn’t sickle celled,sometimes it gets to me when I cant do stuffs like my mates but in all I give thanks and am not one to complain,I know my limits, I take my water and drugs, I don’t stress myself except its work related,  because of SCD I have learnt to think on my feet, be disciplined, smart and intelligent person.

All my life I have had to prove people wrong just because they think am SS, there is more to me than my genotype, there is more to me than the count of my RBC or the level of my PCV, and people basing their decisions on that  is really upsetting and not fair and that is what I have been fighting against up on till this time.”

An exclusive interview from My Dearest bondee.

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