You Are A Rose

I remember clearly the moment I stopped feeling pity for myself that I had sickle cell. It was the day that I truly felt empowered and was now master over my future. This was not easy, as for my entire life I had been cuddled by my family and by the health services that were designed to support a person with sickle cell. Today I know these support systems are needed but the use of them are on my terms and only when my life is truly in danger.

Moving one’s mental state to one in which there is hope over fear, when winning is possible versus always losing, when all prior conditioning tells me that I will fail; this takes time and discipline going forward. It is so easy to slump back into self-pity as it takes no more than accepting your co-dependency on the support of others.

Pushing boundaries in life is always difficult but as soon as rewards keep coming then the greater chance you have that the good times will continue. Thank you Claire Wineland, the cystic fibrosis activist and YouTube star, who died on Sept. 2 at age 21. Your story reached so many and inspired the world. Rest in peace now for you have done a great service to me and to the rest of society.