And just like that - two weeks are over. In having a two week break from the newsletter, Black Ballad has moved offices again. I have been chucked off Twitter and had a national newspaper story written about me because I challenged a fellow black male journalist (and I use the word journalist extremely loosely in his case). And with September being Sickle Cell Awareness month, I found out that I am, in fact, a sickle cell carrier. Now many of you may say how can I not know? Well, I had my suspicions. My mother told me that she remembers seeing a card that read "trait" in my baby book; however, after asking my GP if this was true - he said: “there is nothing on your records to suggest you are a carrier.”
While being a carrier does not carry the same health risks as being diagnosed with sickle cell disease or sickle cell anemia, the whole experience brought home just how little conversation and dare I say concern there is around the sickle cell health problem in the NHS, compared to other incurable and debilitating illnesses that exist. In the last few weeks since finding out, or rather confirming the fact that I am a carrier, it brought home how important and inclusive we must make this conversation within our community.