“Teachers know a lot because of my mother. Me, I never mentioned anything about [SCD] because I feel like once you mention it to everybody, it's sympathy and everybody's always asking if you're okay. A lot of my friends growing up didn't know what was wrong with me. They just thought I was sick and didn't know why I was missing. It didn't cross their mind because, of course, we're young.

But as we got older, some knew or didn't know the severity of it. I even still have friends to this day that might now know. They might know today since I post things on Facebook, or a few years ago when I had my hip replaced, but I just don't want to be a special case or want someone to have some sympathy for me.”

Shealtiel, 35 years old, SCD, hgb SC#FacesofSCD #SickCells #BacktoSchool #fall