Elise

 elise, sick cells, sickle cells

"Your body may be failing you, but your mind isn't. You can go out there and you make a mark on this world. You are strong. You are stronger than the people that don't believe that you’re in pain. You are stronger than the medication. You are stronger than this disease. As long as you surround yourself with positive people, wake up each morning realizing how blessed you are, especially the days when you're not in pain and really treasure the simple things like being able to breathe without hurting.

Not just the sufferers, but their family and what their family has to go through to retain the family unit. What a fight that actually is and how special that actually is and that's why I love coming out to the walks and coming out to the events because you see the families. You realize that families are more than just mom and child, mother and child, but doctors and nurses. They are your family too. My godmother is a scientist. It's amazing who touches your life. Let them in. Don't let the pain shut you down."


"All I wish in the future is that people don't have to suffer the way that I've suffered. That people talk about sickle cell and they talk about what the pain really does mentally to a person and take them seriously. I really do believe if that happens, that we will be able to move forward with technology and science to cure this disease."

  elise, sick cells, sickle cells

  elise, sick cells, sickle cells

"I'm a big believer in holistic medication. It does work. There's a cleanse of vegetables that I mix up. I get lazy too, so I also do the Bottlehouse green vegetable drinks every morning. I take my vitamins. I take hydroxyurea. I took exchange transfusions really to control my crises.

I hope that there's a lot more access, especially people in the African-American communities, which don't always get the health access you see in the rest of the American population. I'd like them to open up the stem cells, the allogeneic stem cells as well as the embryonic stem cells transplantation in America. If you look at what the Swiss and British are doing, they're even using their own blood cells to produce the blood that they need for the exchange transfusions through harvesting. They're doing that in England right now. "


"I'm really proud. I've had a really, really tough fight with sickle cell. I've had pulmonary embolisms, malformation of the brain, spinal cord surgery twice. My mom, ironically enough, actually works with sickle cell. She got her masters in hemoglobin. My godfather is a scientist that worked in the laboratory, screening our bloods and everything like that. [My mom] would take my blood on a day if I didn't look very good and it would go to Uncle Tony. He would see it. If it didn't look good, then I was going to hospital. If it was fine, then I was staying at home.

It's been really difficult because you get teachers who don't really understand the disease and think you're just flat and lazy. There isn't really that kind of communication here that we have in England."

  elise, sick cells, sickle cells