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MY SONGS OF GRATITUDE (1)

As the year draws to an end, I want to use this period to show gratitude to those who have made our experiences pleasant, memorable and fulfilling. I will start with a lady here who’s a friend, sister and an aburo. Based in the UK, she’s a SCD warrior with a kind heart for touching lives.

Truth is my ageing memory fails me at recollecting how we crossed each other’s path or how the bond started. Maybe she will help rekindle my memory on that.

She is no other person than Abs Abs. I call her Idera.

Before our NGO, Disability & Sickle Cell Organization of Nigeria (DISCON) was founded, which is over a year old, Idera had shown her unflinching love for the Sickle Cell cause. I remember her always coming inbox to ask we do fundraising for those badly afflicted by the disorder. “Uncle Tayo, I have come again o. This so so and so warrior needs help. Can we assist to support him/ her…” She would come pleading and seeking collaboration.

Through her nudging, we did a funding campaign for a SCD warrior who needed a hip transplant. The lady in question almost used her own hands to stall the project as a result of her irrationality – coming to seek public help but wanting total concealment (no pics of herself provided so as not to scare potential suitors and to protect family name. All she provided were images of her leg ulcer that weren’t approved on social platforms except Gofundme as they are against advertising regulations, which hindered us from maximizing the campaign). In all, we maintained utmost patience and professionalism in dealing with her. Abs Abs was the one who released her PayPal account info to receive the donations for her. At the end of it all, every kobo donated was transferred to the account of the needing lady from Abs.

Shortly after again, she appeared inbox with a note of urgency seeking help for the case of a baby; a three year old boy down with stroke as a result of Sickle Cell. DISCON had been birthed by then. And we swung into action for another fundraising campaign to save the baby’s life. Over half a million naira was realised from compassionate donors from social media, Facebook, at most, which all went to the baby’s father for the hospital bills and medical expenses. And others space won’t permit me to mention.

Also, with my hands filled to the brim with work at some point and not being able to meet up on all fronts especially after our NGO, DISCON, had been founded, Abs Abs was a volunteer admin on our page supporting to attend and reply to the numerous inbox messages we had to deal with from the SCD community and giving advises, counseling and feedbacks where and when needed. She made the whole job lighter for us at DISCON.

Down to earth and fun loving, her knack to want to go all length to help SCD warriors at all times despite having had her fingers burnt at some point, leaves me in awe of her altruistic nature.

Abs Abs was in Nigeria early in the year and came in with drugs and assistive devices which were donated to the Sickle Cell cause in Nigeria. I’m aware she does this yearly or biyearly, without mentioning other fundraising projects she had championed for Sickle Cell and Cancer patients. We missed seeing each other during her visit as my schedules were tight being preoccupied with office relocation at that period.

I can go on and on. Honestly, I don’t know how to appreciate her enough. I’m using this to say Thank You, Ideraoluwa (the untrained writer).

With more of people like you in the battle against Sickle Cell Disorder, it’s no gainsaying that there’s a bright light shining to illuminate the tunnel.

On behalf of the DISCON (Disability & Sickle Cell Organization of Nigeria) and the entire SCD community, I say we appreciate you and your efforts.

God bless.

– Tayo Faloye

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