Riverside – My name is Nicole Aubert and I am a 32-year-old Sickle Cell warrior. I have been fighting this painful chronic illness all of my life.
Sickle Cell Anemia is a blood disorder in which your red blood cells lack oxygen which causes the cells to become hardened and deformed. Where normal red blood cells are soft and round, sickled cells are hard, sticky, and crescent shaped, which causes the cells to get caught in the vessels and decreases the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. This can increase the chances of complications, such as blood clots or organ failures. Sickle Cells lead to the deterioration of the body; some more quickly than others.
The most obvious complication of Sickle Cell is the pain it generates throughout the body. This pain can originate wherever blood flows and it is excruciating. You never know when the pain is going to hit. I can be having the best day and in mid-sentence or stride the pain can hit. I have been in and out of the hospital for as long as I can remember, dealing with a number of Sickle Cell related issues.
The illness has definitely put limits on my life. I wasn’t allowed to play sports and it has given me a fear of going out and being social, because I worry about ruining my friends’ and family’s time. I had to quit college because I was unable to keep up due to numerous hospitalizations. I have suffered from infections, pneumonia, chronic chest syndrome, blood clots, minor strokes, and even a heart attack before the age of 30. This has taken a huge toll on me mentally, bringing on bouts of anxiety and depression.
This has not only been an ongoing battle for me, but for my family as well. Taking care of me hasn’t been easy. My loved ones have to constantly see me in pain, go back and forth to the hospital, and watch my mental state decline. It is a constant struggle to stay positive and keep a smile on my face.
I was recently offered a unique opportunity to be part of of an amazing program. The program involves a stem cell transplant that could be the answer to my prayers. God has blessed me with a loving and willing brother that is a perfect donor match. There is only one problem: the program is in Maryland and lasts 6 to 7 months; and I live here in California. I have to bring a caregiver as well, meaning we have to find funds for travel, housing, and the cost of living for this time period. All the while, my retired mother still has to maintain our primary household.
I am asking for you to help me make this journey for my cure. I know not everyone is able to give financially; prayers are also appreciated. Every little bit helps. Contributions are now being accepted at https://www.gofundme.com/be-a-part-of-my-healing.