Got Sickle Cell Anemia? Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help

I’ll admit, I don’t have sickle cell anemia, but I do have a bad habit: I don’t ask for help. 

No matter the situation—maybe my car has been towed, or I can’t figure out how to assemble furniture—my first instinct is to figure it out on my own. I’m capable, right? Independence is good, right? I’ve got it covered.

But, time and time again, I realize: I don’t have it covered. I don’t have everything together. Far from it. And not only is it good to ask for help, it’s usually better than trying to take care of things on my own. For 18-year-old Semaj, who lives with sickle cell anemia, help has enriched his life.

The Decatur Daily featured Semaj in an article you can check out here. He’s an active, driven young guy who recently graduated high school and is now interning at Disney World.

Life has not always been easy for Semaj, who often struggles with pain due to his sickle cell anemia. He says the disease has often held him back. But he credits several people in his life with helping him overcome the disorder.

Here are just a few: His JROTC instructors, his high school health teacher, and the blood donors who make Semaj’s blood transfusions possible.

Semaj’s story just reminds me further that help does not make you weak. If anything, the ability to ask for and receive help makes one stronger and makes life richer. As Ringo Starr so memorably sings, “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Maybe you’re living with a rare disease, maybe you’ve lost a loved one, maybe you feel overwhelmed by work or school or life—no matter the situation, don’t hesitate to seek help. You don’t have to go it alone.


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