Warrior Story of Hope - Etta C.
Defining Strength, Inspiration & Hope!
My name is Etta, I was born in Philadelphia, PA. I am 56 years old. I was born with sickle cell anemia- SS. When I was born the doctor told my mother they have never seen this disease before and I wouldn’t make it. So my mom took me from the hospital so the family could see me for a few minutes then she took me back to the hospital. The doctor said they will make me as comfortable as possible. So after that one doctor came in and told my mother that he has been studying this sickle cell anemia and said I will live to the age 5. So my mother said ok she will do her best with me with God’s help. The family did not know what to do when I was in a pain crisis as a young child. My mom wrapped me up in a warm towel and took me back and forth to the hospital.
I spent 5 months in the hospital when I was 8 months old and I had other health issues also. My mom was very scared for me. I did not walk and talk on time like normal kids. So over the years I was in and out of the hospital. My mom had a routine for me. My favorite place was Philadelphia Children Hospital.
When I was eight year old I started to understand my disease a little more. When I went into the hospital my best friend and I were sick. She also had sickle cell anemia . We shared a room together and we both were very very sick with a bad crisis and pneumonia. The doctor told our parents that only one of us will make it. I was so sad when my friend died in my arms from sickle cell anemia. I was so scared after that this disease can take my life at any time. I have faith in God will keep me safe. So over the years the doctor kept telling my mom I would not live past the age of 15, 21, 25, and 32. After that I said the doctor doesn’t know what they are talking about, it’s up to God not them.
I am a mother of two beautiful children. I had my daughter at age 32 and my son age 33. Both of my children have sickle cell trait and they are doing well. I had a hard delivery with my daughter. It was touch and go so I told the doctor to take my child if it came down to the end, but we both made it. Dealing with my sickle cell and trying to raise two kids as single mother, was very hard, but I did it. A difficult time was having a bad crisis and no one was home with me and the kids. They were young my daughter was 1 years old and my son was six months and my daughter did not understand what was happening to me, but she helped me out a great deal until someone came home and I went to the hospital.
I try not to show I am sick in front of my children which are now young adults. I don’t want them to see my pain, I just want them to be happy. Last year 2019 was the very first time in their whole life they have seen me in a very bad pain crisis and they did not know what to do. I was yelling out in pain my nose was bleeding very bad. They were very scared. I said I will be fine. I am a very strong woman who does not let her pain take over her body at all. I feel don’t let your pain win at all, you are stronger then that.
I graduated from High School and after a few years I went to college back and forth for a few years and now I am about to graduate from Valencia College with my Associate in Science degree in Office Administration which I am so proud of myself for taking me a very long time to get here. I have different certificates and awards that I received over the years like Business Management & Business Specialist office support. I have volunteered with different organizations with my kids’ school I was in PTSA, American Lung Association with the Asthma walk, Alzheimer Association with their 5k walk and Tri-County Sickle Cell Disease Association. I also belong to the following organization: (NABFEME) National Association of Black Female Executive in Music & Entertainment, & (IAAP) International Association Administrative Professionals.
My career goals is to have my home based business Lady E. Virtual Assistant and Music Consultant . I have written my first book, it a Sickle cell journal but I have not published it yet. That was my goal before September, but it will have to wait until the end of this year now.
My advice to young warriors is do not give into your pain. The best thing to do is mediation and journaling. That is my stress reliever . Exercise, be positive and everything will work for you. Always love yourself first then everyone else. Think positive everyday, write your goals, put it on your wall or mirror. God is in your corner just put a smile on your face and have a blessed day.