Jerry Nwkorie: My name is Jerry Nwkorie. I have Sickle Cell Anemia. Born and raised. I’m the first. I’m the oldest of five siblings the first with Sickle Cell Anemia. I have my third brother also has Sickle Cell anemia. It’s been one of the toughest things because I come from a Nigerian background. We didn’t talk too much about. The disease itself. So everything was kept really in-house. It was a little bit different. But with the opportunity that I gained when I graduated from school from the University of Texas at San Antonio and moved back home here to Houston Texas I was able to join Sickle Cell Association of Houston with…and I’ve been becoming more of an advocate of the disease ever since. The importance of being an advocate for this disease is because it’s not too many voices.
This disease is a heralded such as cancer or HIV or AIDS and those manners amongst the world. So with Sickle Cell Anemia, we need to give it a voice and I believe that this is an opportunity for myself to give back to the community and to get back to something that’s very important for me and especially when it comes to men. You know you don’t hear too much when it comes to some type of disease or anything such is typically women who are more prominent and are more in the leadership roles. And speak more in certain situations.
So it’s an opportunity for men to be able to step out of. Step out of our comfort zones or get out of the darkness and come to light to also share our experiences and let him know that this disease doesn’t only affect women or you know it. Affects everybody has the opportunity.
Some of the major. Issues I’ve dealt with when it comes to Sickle Cell itself pertains mostly to my back. I dealt with a lot of back spasms and a lot of joint pain. Those are the majority of my symptoms with Sickle Cell so the operates as I’ve as I’ve come of age and as I’ve grown wise and grown older I’ve been able to kind of see or feel that disease and takes certain steps that should have taken when I was younger and now I know a little bit more to kind of protect myself a little bit better than I used to when I was younger.
Kind of taking more preventative action steps than when I was in. The positions in the emergency room. It’s been a learning experience. I’ve dealt with them in multiple locations in San Antonio and in Houston. San Antonio while I was in college it was really like I ended up having to teach the physicians in the emergency room about my disease and about certain tactics that I’ve seen that a strategy that I’ve worked and luckily coming back home to Houston I’ve dealt with a lot more educated physicians.
I believe that clinical trials are very important for our community simply because this will give us the opportunity to kind of find out what treatments actually work to see if we can become more given become more preventative and just try to see if we can almost dissolve the situation before it even starts even to the point of finding a cure. I’ve seen a couple of different studies I’ve read about recently and there have been able to test to kind of see if individuals have Sickle Cell or don’t have Sickle Cell. So it’s very encouraging and I believe that it’s only going to help us going forward in finding a cure or any sort of damn nature for this disease.