"I had one doctor early on, up through maybe my teen-aged years. I was in this clinic. I'm out here and my parents are in there. The doctor is telling my parent's, ‘you know he's only going to live to about 12.’ I can hear him, and I don't know why they don't think that I can't hear it. I hear 12 and I'm 11. That messes you up right there.
Like how is this going to happen? Now I'm 11 and probably 2 days from my birthday. It ain't happened yet, so what's going to happen? Just think of the mind of a kid. I'm like, ‘Well, what's supposed to happen? Am I going to go to sleep and not wake up?’ I don't know. After that episode passed then they said it again at 14, then they said it again at 18. By that time, I'm in college. I'm like, ‘forget y'all. Y'all don't know what y'all talking about.’
I start preparing for an adult life, and a lot of people don't. Or they can take the attitude of, ‘I'm not going to be here long, so I can do what I want to do.’
I'm not supposed to be here. I'm not supposed to do a lot of things. I went on to college, accounting degree, and had several careers at Fortune 500 companies. A lot of them don't get a chance to do that and they live in that different lifestyle of nothing matters. I've been to all 50 states. Been around the world. I want to go to Dubai. But they tell you, ‘you can't fly.’ I tell any sickle cell patient, ‘Try what you can and then pull back. But don't let somebody else tell you ‘no’ before you try.’”
"I think what saddens me is that, particularly with this hospital, there's 800 patients here. When we go to do advocacy or ask for money from the state for funding for the clinic, we've got 12 to 20 people. There's 800 people here in the sickle cell clinic. Now, you know, maybe all of them can't go but 20 out of 800? We need to speak up more for ourselves because if we don't, who else will? I mean that's just really sad to me. That's why I'm out and about. I want to be an example of what you can do.”
"I try to be a mentor to my nieces and nephews. I've traveled a lot. Brazil, Europe, all 50 states. There's nothing I can't do because of my sickle cell."