I’ve heard too many stories about young people (ages 13-30) with Sickle Cell Disease who just give up on life. They believe they've gotten a bad deal from God, that life is unfair, and it's not worth living if it includes suffering.
In result, these young people drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes (and whatever else); and push their bodies beyond its limits. Trying to keep up with their friends, these young people end up in the hospital every time.
I know it’s hard to take care of yourself when you’re suffering and sad. I know that life seems unfair when you’re the only one with Sickle Cell Disease that you know. I know you want to live, like everyone else, and I also know how it feels to be 20 years old (with life ahead of you), and Sickle Cell dims your hopes for a future.
I have to tell you young people “Don’t give up!”
There is hope past the pain. There is life beyond blood transfusions. You’ve gotta just live. Live well and take care of yourself. I promise you there are happy days ahead….live to see them. There is wellness ahead….do your part to have it. There is a future for you....to do all the things you want (or can) do. Live to see it.
I tell you this (young people), from one SC sufferer to another, cry if you want to cry…then wipe your tears. Get up, dust yourself off and get on with your life. Go ahead and dream big dreams, and then do whatever you can to make those dreams come true. God will do the rest.
When you get weak and you fall, get up, dust yourself off and try again, and again, and again, and again, and again. Then, just smile, because you're not going to be defeated by anything…. not even Sickle Cell Disease.