My First Bankruptcy With SCD
My mum used to complain all the time about hospital bills and the toll it’s taking on the family. At a point, she began to think it was a spiritual attack. She said, "Anytime we get money, you fall sick. This is my enemy, but my God will not let them win.” I mostly laughed at her.
Feeling the financial burden
Several years later, here I am, old enough to pay my own bills and I’ve had my fair share. It didn’t make me laugh anymore. I began to feel the heat for myself. I’ve worked really hard and I’ve tried all I could. I won’t use my condition as an excuse to be “useless” like my Aunty calls me. I’ve thrived to achieve.
The pocket cash crash
When modeling started going well, I was making a lot of money. I managed to save enough to start my own business. It was about $7000. I started the process, got registered, rented a shop, and bought all I needed. The painter only had to come paint so I could set up and start work. He kept tossing me around for a week.
I got sick around that time and tests said I had a liver infection that needed immediate treatment and attention. We tried pills and it wasn’t working. Around that same time, my dad was not well and lost his job as well. I couldn’t tell him. I couldn’t make his burden worse. So I kept it all to myself.
The cost of care
Soon, the back and forth tests, hospital bills, medications, and trials went deep into my bank account. By the time I was finally healed, my account was wiped out. I had to return everything for less, so I could use the money for the rest of my treatment.
Feeling better, but broke
By the time I was healed, I was not only broke but drained and in lots of debt. I was back to nothing.
The coming days were really hard for me. Even what to eat was a big problem. My rent was due and I was out of groceries and water. To the few friends and family members that helped in all my down moments, I really appreciate you. Thank you for not giving up on me.
Back to work
When I finally got back, after over 6 months, I was no longer in high demand. The market was flooded with models. I have been back and forth with my finances because of sickle cell. To be honest, it sucks. Though the need for money becomes intense most of the time, I am grateful for the fact that I get another chance to try.
Appreciating the little things in life has helped me to cope with the days I no longer want to live. I remember the few people in my life who genuinely love me no matter what, and that is what keeps me going. Especially in a world where money solves everything and I don't have any.
Recovery and advocacy
Years have passed and I still haven’t recovered from all that loss. There are times I still think about it and cry. I’m still learning to get over it and I will someday.
This is one of the million reasons why I advocate for sickle cell. This disease destroys all aspects of life. Most of these things cannot be recovered, ever. I send love to everyone going through tough broke times because of sickle cell. I know how you feel. You will be just fine.
What awareness month activities do you plan to get involved in?