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Meet Emily: Nursing Student, Rock Climber, Dancer and SC Warrior

Posted Nov 15 2010 3:44pm
Written by Sickle Cell Warrior on 15 November 2010

This week’s warrior in the spotlight is Emily Imandomwanyi.  Recently featured in the Dallas Times, Emily is a full time nursing student who is beautiful, intelligent, and passionate about life. And oh yeah, she has sickle cell.

How old where you when you found out you had sickle cell? 3 months old, and my parents were devastated because mom already lost two sisters to SCD.

Wow, that must have been heartbreaking for your parents! How were you able to cope with  school and sickle cell? I made sure before any class or  the semester started I told all my professors I have Sickle Cell and explained to them the severity of the disease and what it does to me. So whenever I was absent I made my work up as soon as I was back.

Communication is important to success in school. How did your childhood and your parents influence you in your choice of career? From being sick all the time and being around great nurses and doctors  in the Children’s Medical Center  in Dallas and seeing how caring they were towards me and my parents taking care of me. I decided I wanted to be “something” that had to do with children like me, but didn’t know exactly what yet.

This is the same reason I went into nursing! LOL. What do you do? What kind of experience and schooling does one need to get your job? I’m a full time student on track to get my nursing degree, im also a rock climber and western dancer. You don’t need experience you just need your own MIND MOTIVATION.

Describe a typical day on your job. My typical day consist of school, the library, rock climbing (attempting difficult climbs). And relaxing with my family.

How do you manage SCD and still maintain a thriving career?

I manage SCD not by IT keeping me in check, but me keeping it in check! That means I drink plenty of water eat healthy, stay active; and if I feel pain I attack it immediately!
And I keep in mind that  I defy SCD.

Have you noticed a difference in how your classmates treat you once they know you have SCD? When my classmates find out some are distant, due to lack of knowledge on the Illness, others seem to be understanding.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to join your profession that has sickle cell? Don’t let Sickle Cell  stop you from whatever profession you want to achieve. Anything is possible.

Has sickle cell limited any areas of your life?

No the sky can’t even limit me. I do what I know I can do and want to do. SCD can just sit back and watch me.

Love it! When you do reach obstacles in your life, what helps you through it? I lean on the promises of God, The word of God is my strength. And positive people to surround me.

Do you have regular pain (more than 2x a week)? How do you cope with this when you are in school? I experience pain episodes EVERYDAY. I cope by slowing myself down drinking fluids and taking pain meds if its needed. Until I’m able to pick back up again.

What  is your daily medication regimen and what medications do you take when you are in pain? Daily: Folic Acid, and Multivitamins. For Pain; I alternate between Motrin and Hydrocodone, depending on the severity of the pain

How has sickle cell affected your personal life? For example, are you in a relationship, do you have kids, etc. No kids, I’m not in a relationship. After two puppy relationships of being hurt because I have SCD, God is my best bet, he loves me for ME! Gods love is unconditional I know he has created someone amazing out there for me, but I will wait until God time has arrived.

Looking at the 14 year old version of yourself, what would you tell him or her if you could…? I would tell her never lose hope! You can do or be whatever you set your mind to! The Sky is NOT your limit. You are your own limit. I would tell her SCD does not defeat you! YOU DEFY SCD!  God knows what your going through when it seems all others don’t understand. And he will never forsake you.

So inspiring! Is there anything else that you would want to tell other sickle cell warriors? Sickle Cell Warriors: NOW is the time to SHINE!

Thank you for doing this interview Emily. It was such a pleasure *meeting* you and I know that you have inspiring many.

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