I’ll be honest, I contemplated on sharing this part of my life. Mckenzie’s father, Keith, thought it would be amazing for me to share just how strong our little princess is. Not only that, but how we can be an encouragement to other parents, caring for children who have health issues.
Mckenzie was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia when she was a few weeks old. Sickle cell anemia is a disorder of the red blood cells. This is caused by an inherited abnormal hemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying protein within the red blood cells.) The abnormal hemoglobin causes sickled red blood cells. The sickle-shaped cells can also stick to vessel walls, causing a blockage that slows or stops the flow of blood.
When Keith and I found out that our princess had sickle-cell anemia, I was crushed. This disease is inherited from a persons parents. Keith and I both have the sickle cell trait. As a mother, you care for your child the minute you find out your pregnant. You don’t want any hurt, harm or danger to come up against them. I felt at fault. I felt like I didn’t do my job as a mother to not let anything happen to her.
A person with sickle-cell anemia can develop a number of health problems. Most common, sickle cell crisis. This is attacks of pain anywhere throughout the body. Also, swelling in the hands and feet, stroke, anemia, bacterial infections, fatigue, acute chest syndrome, kidney problems, and pulmonary hypertension. Although treatment can help, there is no cure for sickle cell anemia.
The doctors explained to us the risks of Mckenzie having sickle-cell anemia. They told us that she wouldn’t be able to participate in certain activities like other kids, she wouldn’t be able to eat certain things like other kids, and that the crisis would be often.
Giving all glory to God, Mckenzie has only had two crisis since she’s been born that led her to the hospital. One crucial visit having her to get a blood transfusion and she was out the hospital in the next two days. She’s the strongest little girl I know. You could see in her face she was hurting, but her spirits remained HIGH. Many moments she was probably checking on us, to make sure we were straight lol. At every doctors appointment we go to, they can’t believe how great her blood results are. Every check up she has, she passes with flying colors. She hasn’t done an activity yet that we have to avoid. She’s the total opposite of what the doctors say she’s going to be like. You wouldn’t even be able to tell she’s fighting sickle-cell anemia!! When I speak about how good God is, I’m not speaking out the side of my neck! I’ve seen him turn her whole situation around and heal my princesses body.
I’m a mother that has a daughter with sickle-cell anemia, and I’ve come to grips with it. It’s not easy knowing your child has to fight, while you can do nothing about it. Mckenzie is one and takes this like a G! I could use a few pointers from her. Mckenzie has taught me to be calm through whatever. I’m so excited to be an encouragement for other parents going through.
Even if you don’t have a child with sickle-cell. It’s always great to be educated. September is National sickle-cell awareness month. In the United States, most of the people with sickle-cell disease are African-American. About 1 in 13 African American babies are born with the sickle cell trait. About 1 in every 365 black children are born with sickle cell disease.
So, I know you were wondering how you can support parents and children that deal with health issues..here’s how…
keep the family in prayer
promote and pursue a healthy lifestyle
educate yourself and others
support and love on the family
listen! Sometimes parents just need an open ear
spread positive vibes and be a light
Oh yea! Before you go, let me brag about my daughter real quick..mind you, she’s 1! She knows all of her features and body parts. She can count to five. She knows about 3 different colors, she knows what sounds different animals make, she knows how to work the remote lol and she loves to read(she makes up her own stories..regardless of what book it is lol) she already knows how to care for her little brother by feeding and soothing him. She loves all fruits and vegetables, thank goodness! And lastly, she loves to tell everybody what’s hot and cold.