LIVING WITH SCD

Born to a humble family that had long waited but in vain for a miracle of a Child, It was on the  12th day of April, 1992 that excitement run through the entire village  of Kanyaruboga deep in western Uganda that God had finally heard  the cries of the Dambya’s and those of  the entire village. Born close to a Church and on Palm Sunday, relatives say it was at a moment in time that voices singing Hosanna Hosanna could be heard from the church that I was brought into this world. Praises were sung, gifts were given and it was all bliss and joy but for a moment. Little did the Dambya’s know that there was a lot more for them to handle than the ordinary raising of a child. From sleepless nights, pale eyes to swollen limbs I slowly started to react and a hospital visit was made. It was exactly a week after I was born that my parents (The Dambya’s) were given a shocking revelation by the Doctors that I was no ordinary baby and I needed a lot of care and attention as I was in a very delicate state.

Not familiar with Sickle Cell Anemia, they did all they could looking for a solution as they could not let their long awaited bundle of joy slip right through their fingers. From taking fresh blood of a guinea pig as the traditionalist had advised to consulting various specialists and herbalists, the Dambya’s tried it all but in vain.

It was not until the Uganda Sickle Cell Association members visited Kasese District for a seminar that my mother learnt that the only way of making me better was through taking a lot of fluids, foods rich in iron and vitamins, not doing strenuous work and being in open places. That’s how I learnt to live with SCD.

Having been bed ridden for a while with little to do, I was taken to various remote clinics deep in the village but could not get proper medical attention, my parents spared the little they had and looked for a hospital where I could get a blood transfusion. I needed six pints of blood before I could stabilize and on gaining consciousness, I felt indebted to the donor who had saved my life. How I wish I had a chance to meet this angel from above that came to my rescue at my lowest point. I wish there were a way of recognizing the so many unsung heroes out there that take time to donate blood to thousands of strangers. We call for heroes daily, but I know only one hero because of my condition. My hero is any man or woman who braves the niddle just so I can see another day.

Today I stand proud to say that blood transfusion saved my life and it’s the reason I am hopeful for a better tomorrow and that’s the reason why I can’t stop smiling

Key Entry Rules

  1. You must be someone with Sickle Cell Disease or have some strong connection with SCD through kinship, friendship or caring responsibility.
  2. Your story – which must be true and should include some aspect of the importance of blood in the narrative – must be between 200–2,000 words.
  3. We expect most entries to come from Africa, but where you live is less important than the story you have to share.
  4. Stories must be submitted by the contest deadline of 30 September 2016.
  5. Photographs and other media can be included and are very much encouraged.
  6. First, second and third place winners will be awarded a monetary prize of $500/$350/$250 respectively. There will also be two special $125 prizes for standout young contestant (under 16) and standout health care professional, if not represented among the overall winners.

Story Criteria

Contest Rules

Past Winners