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  1. T-Boz Does Not Hold Back on Her Call for Us All to Get Involved in Sickle Cell Awareness

    July 3, 2017 by Andrea
    Photo: Instagram/@therealtboz

    Photo: Instagram/@therealtboz

    After Prodigy's passing late last month, celebrities and fans alike flocked to social media to express condolences and shock at the news. Many people even inquired as to what sickle cell was and how someone got it -- another clear sign that this disease does not even come close to getting the attention and research support it needs.

    One celeb, though -- T-Boz of the R&B girl group TLC -- sent off a series of tweets that were perhaps the most impactful, as they came from a place of true understanding and passion for awareness. A sickle cell warrior herself, T-Boz has had a few near-death experiences, which she shares in her upcoming book, "A Sick Life" (out in September, which is also Sickle Cell Awareness Month). Never one to keep quiet on the issue, T-Boz hosts annual fundraisers for sickle cell, speaks on it regularly in interviews, and writes about it in her books and poetry.

    In the following tweets, she calls out the SCDAA for not doing enough and calls on the Black Lives Matter movement to do more in regard to sickle cell awareness. Read what she has to say, heed the call, and get involved in any way you can.

  2. Sickle Cell Warrior and Member of Mobb Deep, Prodigy Passes Away at 42

    June 27, 2017 by Andrea
    Photo: Instagram/@prodigymobbdeep

    Photo: Instagram/@prodigymobbdeep

    Last Tuesday (June 20), eerily enough just one day after World Sickle Cell Day, Prodigy of the famous hip-hop duo Mobb Deep made his transition. Only 42 years old, the rapper was on tour in Las Vegas where he died from complications of sickle cell disease -- a condition he was always very open about.

    In fact, in his 2011 memoir, My Infamous Life, Prodigy detailed his struggles with the disease, at one point discussing a close call he had while on tour in India. "Ten hours into the eighteen-hour flight, my sickle cell pain crept up. By the time we landed in Bombay, I was in bad shape," he begins. "Slowly I felt the sickle cells accumulating and spreading throughout my body. Then I felt something I never felt before -- the sickle cells moving to my heart. It was time to put in an emergency call to the Most High."

    His memoir wasn't the only place Prodigy used to relay his battle with SCD. He also communicated what he was going through and how he was coping through his lyrics and via interviews. Here are a few things he had to say on living life and overcoming hardships:

    "Until my death, my goal's to stay alive. Survival of the fit, only the strong survive." -Survival of the Fittest, Mobb Deep

    "My life before hip-hop was just pain. Sickle cell was my life before hip-hop. I ain't really have no life -- that was it. I'm growing up, that's all I know, just being in a ... hospital all the time. And then music ... The aggressiveness of it attracted me to hip-hop because I was angry inside. I was an angry kid because of sickle cell ... [hip-hop] helped me get my aggression out." - interview with NPR, 2013

    "I was born with pain. My moms and my pops passed it down to me ... I'm talkin' 'bout permanent, physical suffering. You know nothin' about that, you just complain 'cause you stressed. My pain's in the flesh, and through the years that pain became my friend; sedated with morphine as a little kid. I built a tolerance for drugs ... Now hospital emergency treat me like a fiend ... Beggin' God for help ... Naw, you can never feel my pain." - You Can Never Feel My Pain, Prodigy 

    "I love to promote good health and certain things that you're supposed to be doin' with your diet because I want other people with sickle cell to learn how I live ... Hopefully, I can inspire other people with sickle cell to get their stuff together and get out there and do what they gotta do. Don't let it hold you back." - DJ Booth interview, 2008

    Have a favorite lyric or quote from Prodigy/Mobb Deep that's not listed here? Share it in the comments below.

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