By Augustus Bill
In the spirit of the Holy week celebrations ,The members of Association of Persons Living with Sickle Cell Disorder have been enjoying the goodwill of well meaning organizations and religious bodies in the state, especially the Catholic Diocese of Awka, as the association has among the recipients of welfare donations for the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Dr. Paulinus Ezeokafor, and his auxiliary Bishop Jonas Benson in line with the Bishop’s annual philanthropy to the less chanced in the society during the Chrism Mass celebrations.
Receiving the items on behalf of the Association, Aisha Edward, the coordinator of the sickle cell group applauded the Bishop for this kind gesture that he has continued annually, she expressed her joy at the benevolence of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, who always consider the sickle cell group during the Easter period. She said that the package would not only aid the welfare of persons living with the disorder, but also brighten them psychologically, as the feeling of knowing that someone cares for them is enough to save them the pains of their health Crises.
Aisha also appreciated the efforts of the Association’s Chaplain, Rev. Fr. Obiora Okeke Esq, whose magnanimity and efforts has always been at the beck and call of the Association, assisting with the needed moral and psychological support needed for an effective sickle cell management for the members. She also thanked him for his endless efforts in ensuring that the Association was not omitted for this year’s Bishop’s welfare packages.
The Sickle Cell Advocate urged other Associations of health challenged persons to inculcate the habit of trying to also give back in their own little ways and not always being at the receiving end. She said this after the Sickle Cell group returned from the Thanksgiving at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Awka. She concluded that Associations of Health Challenged persons should always try, at least once in a year to thank God for sustaining them to that point and not always squat at the receiving end.
In the same vein of reaching out during the Holy week, members of APLSCD were treated to hours of fun, and prayer sessions as the EFAC group of St John Divine Anglican Church Oko visited their home on Palm Sunday.
The Group led by Mrs Chinwendu Ewim Ezeofor The Principal of Gaius Benton Schools Oko, said they have heard a lot about the exploits of the Association, and deemed it fit to pay them a visit, spend time with her members, and learn first hand from them their plights, while praying together with them and proffering ways to ameliorate their difficulties and donate welfare packages to the Association.
Receiving the EFAC group at the Sickle Cell home at Nanka, Aisha Edward, Appreciated them for such a kind and Sincere gesture. She said that the Group would be the first to visit the Association at her place and pray with them. She maintained that such kind gestures were the needed fuel that keeps her members up and running emotionally and psychologically, knowing that people care for them.
Aisha advised other groups to emulate the EFAC group. She maintained that a little token was all needed to put a smile on the face of a sickle cell Person in the absence of the Sickle Cell Law, giving him or her another reason to continue living with the pain they’ve come to accept as a life burden for the rest of their lives.