EX-Mayor Scott Ellis of Shepherdsville, KY, your statement, “Every ‘N—–‘ born should be injected with sickle cell so that they can not reproduce” is the most insensitive, disheartening, truly hateful thing I have ever heard. Sickle cell, not CYCLE cell as you called it, is a very painful and deadly disease that occurs 1 out of every 500 African American births and one in every 36,000 Hispanic American births in the United States alone. Sickle cell can block the flow of blood through vessels resulting in lung tissue damage, horrible pain episodes in the arms, legs, chest and abdomen, stroke, damage to organs and even death. As the parent of 3 said children and an advocate for the spreading of awareness of the plight of the sickle cell community, imagine my dismay when I came across your statement!
For you who have never felt the debilitating pain of sickle cell disease or cared for a loved one with this disease to utter such cruel words as though sickle cell patients hold the recipe to the extinction of the black race is insulting to sickle cell patients and their loved ones. Many have truly been hurt and highly offended by your cruel remark, and we as sickle cell patients, friends and families of anyone who is battling this disease or has succumbed to it, believe that a formal apology from you is in order.
I will be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to educate you on the fallacy of your statement. A person does not acquire sickle cell disease by being injected, but rather it is a chronic inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. And while the outlook of sickle cell disease once looked very bleak, thanks to the many advances in the medical field, sickle cell disease is no longer a death sentence. Today, people living with sickle cell disease are living decades longer AND having healthy and beautiful children.
I hope that you never get to experience first hand the effects of sickle cell disease. Due to complications from sickle cell disease, my daughter Khadeejah had a stroke at 7. 7??? Who has a stroke at 7? Many children with sickle cell disease do. Sickle cell disease is the leading cause of childhood stroke. And that leads them to a long, many times life long, journey of monthly transfusions in hopes of preventing future strokes. Next month my daughter will be undergoing yet another surgery, this time on her brain, to repair damaged blood vessels.
So as you can see, people battling sickle cell disease do not need to be made to feel like they are anything other than amazingly strong and resilient in their daily struggles to cope with a disease that seeks to break them. We seek publicity to bring awareness to our plight, but not your kind. If sir, you have nothing helpful to add to our dialogue on sickle cell disease, we ask that you not add to the stigmatization of our community by making such cruel and hateful remarks.