Written by LBailey on 18 September 2011
Hey everyone! Today’s interview is with Clayton Andrews, husband, father and dedicated advocate for at-risk children. Mr. Andrews, thank you for providing this interview. I’m looking forward to learning more about you, your amazing job and your journey with sickle cell disease. Let’s jump right in…
How old were you when you found out that you have sickle cell?
Did your sister have sickle cell disease?
I am so very sorry for your loss. How did you handle hearing such difficult news?
Sickle cell must have been very hard to understand at that age. Parents with young warriors often have difficulty explaining sickle cell to their children. Do you remember how your mother explained it to you?
When did you come to a full understanding of sickle cell disease?
How do you explain sickle cell to individuals who are unfamiliar with the disease?
What techniques did you use to cope with school and sickle cell?
I’ve noticed that night is the prime time for me to go into a vaso-occlusive crisis as well. How did you determine that 11pm to 11am is when you are most likely to crisis? Is that specific to you or were you given those hours as a general guideline?
Wow. That’s detailed deductive reasoning. You sound like a scientist. What exactly do you do? What type of experience and schooling is needed to obtain your job?
How did your childhood and your parents influence you in your career choice?
Can you tell us a little more about what, specifically, in college led to your career choice?
Ha! Now that’s funny. I guess you owe your crazy ex a thank you. Could you describe a typical day on your job.
Tell us a little more about your job. Is there any part that you really hate or absolutely love?
Are you comfortable revealing your sickle cell diagnosis with your coworkers? Why or why not?
Have you noticed a difference in how your coworkers treat you once they know you have SCD?
How do you manage SCD and still maintain a thriving career?
Will power? LOL. Can you be more specific? I know that many people know you by your middle name, Will. Is “Will power” a play on your name?
What advice would you give a fellow warrior wanting to join your profession?
Has sickle cell limited any areas of your life?
When you reach obstacles in your life, what helps you through it?
Do you have regular pain (more than 2x a week)? How do you cope with this when you are working?
What is your daily medication regimen and what medications do you take when you are in pain?
How has sickle cell affected your personal life?
Please tell us about your wife. How has she helped you with sickle cell? How did your relationship evolve taking into account sickle cell? When did you tell her?
Do you have children? If yes, how many? Are they warriors as well?
If you could have a conversation with your 14 year old self, what would you tell him/her?
I think many Warriors have that in common with you. Lazy simply does not apply to most of us. Is there anything else that you would like to share with the sickle cell warrior community?
That’s fantastic advice Clayton! Thank you for sharing your story with us.