I felt unusually bereft and deeply saddened by this death. It brought home to me the full tragedy of the millions of sickle-cell sufferers who quietly lost their fights everyday - some despite having invested a lot of effort, emotion and education into living a normal life.
I myself had reached an age with my sickle cell anemia, where every doctor or specialist I went to told me, 'You are mid-way through your fourth decade - what more do you expect?'
Implying that there was no more that science could do for me - I had reached and surpassed the prescribed life expectancy of a sickler. I was living in extra time.
It had never really bothered me what the doctors had said, but when I started reading more about what other people had to say about sickle cell anemia and life with sickle cell anemia, and noticed that in most online forums, there were maybe two or three participants as old as I was or older, that got me thinking.
That and the death of the unknown girl.
And one of the things that got me thinking was that there are a lot of positive things to say about sickle cell anemia and living with it, not just negative ones.
Everyone could learn something from every adult sickler who is still alive.