Having researched on this deadly disease, I discovered that Sickle Cell Anaemia is caused by a mutation in the gene that tells your body to make the red, iron-rich compound that gives blood its red colour (haemoglobin). In sickle cell anaemia, the abnormal haemoglobin causes red blood cells to become rigid, sticky and misshapen.
Haemoglobin allows red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body. The sickle cell gene is passed from generation to generation in a pattern of inheritance called autosomal recessive inheritance. This means that both the mother and the father must pass on the defective form of the gene for a child to be affected.
If only one parent passes the sickle cell gene to the child, that child will have the sickle cell trait. With one normal haemoglobin gene and one defective form of the gene, people with the sickle cell trait make both normal haemoglobin and sickle cell haemoglobin. Their blood might contain some sickle cells, but they generally don’t have symptoms. But they are carriers of the disease, which means they can pass the gene to their children.
I was taken aback when a lecturer in one of the Public Universities advised me to check my genotype before having any emotional attachment with the opposite sex. He insisted I checked before going about my daily routines. His consistent pestering was becoming a nuisance. I mean, how can you just meet a stranger from nowhere and give this advice.
There certainly could be more to this disturbance than I thought. He then explained to me that if you happen to be a carrier of the disease, it’s worrisome. I could have declined and done the needful if I found a suitable spouse in the near future. But he was smart and played it out so well that I just couldn’t resist. His offer was very convincing…
“Since you are good at art and poetry, could you please write a poem about the Sickle cell? My team and I are embarking on a campaign and we would like you to join us. But first, you will have to check your genotype. I believe by checking, it will enable you write a good poem”. he advised.
I was put in a very tight spot by his convincing words. I knew I had no choice than to check my status and use my own experience to write a good poem to educate the youth out there to check their genotype first, before getting emotionally attached to their would-be partners.
So I titled it “Stop killing children, All in the name of Love”.
The “AA, AC, AS, SC, SS” makes sense now after I checked my genotype. Apparently, there was no campaign awareness as he claimed his team will be embarking on. He had played it smart and helped me to be informed. However, this wasn’t the end of his scheme. The plan was to hook me up with someone of a safer genotype. something I would never like to be involved in is to be linked with a guy I have no interest in or whatsoever. I would prefer to be searched for or do the searching myself. I think that’s more, for lack of a better word, “sweeter and the cutest thing”.
Unfortunately, we were incompatible and ours could have been a beautiful love story in the end because we share the same goals and dreams, not forgetting a coincidental date of our birthdays. We could have gotten married in the end if not for this “Deadly Disease called Sickle Cell Anaemia According to my supposed “hooked guy” he has been on the lookout for a lady who is compatible with his genotype and I happen to be his “4th bad Luck!”
So this is how it works, we have got to stop killing children in the name of love. Once you notice you are a carrier of the trait, you shouldn’t take the risk of getting involved with someone of the sickle cell trait all in the name of love. We could just have ignored the test and be concerned with the fact that there is something called “FAITH” and thereby move on to marriage. It becomes worrisome and frustrating when you keep asking people about their genotype before getting emotionally attached to them.
However, I believe the best decision we can ever take is to listen to the Voice of Reason.
© June 2019
Image by: Pixabay.