Tashena

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“I always used to have to wear a jacket because it was cold in school, so I got in trouble so much because we weren't allowed to wear hooded jackets and stuff like that. We weren't allowed to bring water bottles in the class, but I had to, especially when I was sick to keep myself hydrated. I got a lot of backlash from the teachers. The students, too, because they felt like I was being privileged, and like how can she do it, but I can't do it.

This country's in very, very bad shape in terms of opioid addiction. It tears up families. It's terrible. You only really started hearing about opioid addiction when it started affecting the majority of this country. Outside of that, you didn't hear about it. Aside from that, I think it's like the education needs to be available. I think jobs need to be available. I mean different strategies need to be utilized to avoid it. People are doing that and masking a larger problem I think.” - Tashena, 30, SC


Race is a big factor in this country. I think sickle cell still is looked at as an African-American disease or people of color disease. Unfortunately, that's just a fact of life. When you go into the hospitals in a crisis situation, we're still at the point we're trying to educate the triage nurses when you bring your kid in. Your kid was okay yesterday; now they're sick. Now, you've got the opioid epidemic. It's becoming harder and harder to even get pain medication for the sickle cell child. My hope and my prayer is that enough attention will be drawn on this disease to at least get rid of those stereotypes or educate people on it. Then we would be a lot more further along in the cure of this disease than we are now.”

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