Hello, my name is Nicole Aubert and I am a 32 year old Sickle Cell warrior. I have been fighting this painful chronic illness all of my life. Sickle Cell Anemia is a blood disorder in which your red blood cells lack oxygen and causes the cells to become hardened and deformed. Normal red blood cells are soft and round; sickled cells are hard, sticky and crescent shaped. This provokes the cells to get caught in the vessels, decreasing the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. This can increase the chances of different complications such as blood clots and/or organ failures. The sickled deteriorating cells lead to the deterioration of the body; some more quickly than others.
Sickle Cells most obvious complication happens to be the pain it generates throughout the body. This pain can be found wherever blood flows and it is excruciating. You never know when this pain is going to hit. I can be having the best day and in mid-sentence or stride the pain can hit. I have been in and out of the hospital for as long as I can remember, dealing with a numerous amount of issues sickle cell causes. This has definitely put limits on my life. I wasn't allowed to play sports and has given me a fear of going out and being social in the worries of ruining my friends and family's time. I had to quit college because I was unable to keep up because I was in the hospital too much. I have suffered from infections, pneumonia, chronic chest syndrome, blood clots, minor strokes and even a heart attack before the age of 30. This has taken a huge toll on me mentally, bringing upon anxiety and depression.Not only has this been an ongoing battle for myself, but for my family as well. Taking care of me hasn't been easy. My loved ones have to constantly see me in pain. Going back and forth to the hospital, all the while watching my mental state decline as well. It is a constant struggle to stay positive and keep a smile on my face.
Recently I have been offered a unique opportunity to enter into an amazing program. This program consists of a stem cell transplant that could possibly be the answer to my prayers. God has blessed me with a loving and willing brother that is a perfect donor match. There is only one problem, the program is in Maryland and last 6 to 7 months and I currently live in California. I have to bring a caregiver as well, that means we have to find funds for travel, housing and the cost of living for this time period. All the while my retired mother still has to maintain our primary household. Please help me on this journey to my cure. I know not everyone is able to give financially so prayers are also appreciated. Every little bit helps!!!